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Entre Nos, Tribute to an Immigrant Mother's Survival

The postscript reveal that Entre Nos, which follows a newly single immigrant mother as she ekes out a living on the streets of New York, is based on the filmmaker's own story is more affecting than anything that made it to the screen. Co-director Paola Mendoza takes on the role of her mother—here, a Colombian named Mariana—and her adorably resilient childhood self is rechristened Andrea (Laura Montana); Sebastian Villada plays the equally adorable but stoic son, Gabriel. Left by her husband soon after joining him, kids in tow, in New York, Mariana hustles empanadas and takes up can collecting. Soon homeless and penniless, she turns up pregnant for the win. Put through the film's extensive gauntlet of personal trials, Mendoza remains radiant at her most harassed—this is a tribute, above all, and the story suffers somewhat for it—but the directors do have an occasionally mitigating eye for destitution: The image of Andrea meticulously deconstructing a bag of Cheez Doodles to lick the dust from its crevices, her exhausted mother looking on, is strangely resonant.

 
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