What Hope Looks Like in NYC

by Rachel Gertz

She pushes a cart full of sticky cans and bottles, hoping today she’ll have enough to feed her two kids who are only steps behind.

Entre Nos is a Spanish foreign film about Mariana, a single mother of two young kids who has to reinvent her family’s survival. Her husband walked out on her and left her in New York just two weeks after she and the kids emigrated from Columbia. She doesn’t have enough to cover rent and she doesn’t speak the language. But she’s tough, and she’s a fighter. Her story is real. Her daughter, Paola Mendoza, actually grows up to become the director of this adapted tale. She plays her own mother and I think this is where the intensity of the film burns bright.

Not only did Paola play the lead, she wrote, directed, produced and edited the film as well. It was shot in 18 days in New York City. The real Mariana and Paola’s brother were only on set for eleven of those days.

What astounds me is that this film could drag you down a staircase of sadness and bruise you at every step, but instead, as the real Mariana chose to do, it keeps smiling and draws you in a bit closer till you feel somehow connected to its resiliency.

After you watch the trailer, I’d recommend checking out the rest of this Fiction Field II article, including the Vimeo interview with Paola and her mother and brother to get a feel for how the family not only managed to survive homelessness in NYC, but how their sense of humour and ability to keep looking forward also kept them knit together.

Liked it? You can purchase the film here.