Entre Nos is a family film; we focus on family first, last, always. But the story told, while not atypical, is unforgettably grieving to watch. This is the story of Mariana (Paola Mendoza), a Colombian housewife who, along with her two small children, comes to Queens, New York to be with her husband, Antonio (Andres Munar), who had gone there for work. Soon afterward, her philandering husband abandons his wife and children, leaving Mariana in a new country with no money, no job, no friends or family to help her, and no grasp of the language. The young mother is put into a devastating position by the person she trusts most, and absolutely no means of getting back home.
Very soon, she and her children are destitute and desperate, resorting to everything from selling empanadas on the street to collecting recyclables to earn enough to live in a shabby motel. Mariana manages to use her own resourcefulness and her son Gabriel’s limited English to get by, all while clinging to hope and trying to stay afloat in dangerous waters. As we see Gabriel and his sister, Andrea (Laura Montana Cortez), be forced to grow up way to quickly and make critical decisions which will impact their food and shelter every single day, the audience can only wonder what sort of bravery we might have exhibited at such a young age.
Entre Nos was heartbreaking, but uplifting as well, as we see Mariana and her children go above and beyond to keep what’s left of their family intact. Inspired by director and star Mendoza’s own mother and experience of immigration, Entre Nos doesn’t just tell the story of a poor family, or an abandoned family, but of terrified and incredibly hardworking immigrants, the most vulnerable people in most countries, as they try to carve a space for themselves somewhere new.
I give this one 4.5 stars.