The Life of Immigrants: “Maria Full of Grace”, “De Nadie”, and “Panorama”

1. Introduction

The life of immigrants is not safe, and these people have to use any opportunity available to them and to improve the conditions they live under. The films “Maria Full of Grace” by Joshua Marston and “De Nadie” by Jaime Valdez offer two different approaches to the same problem – Latin American immigration to the United States. Both films were based on real events and reflect the current situation in Central America.

2. Immigration in terms of shots and angles: “Maria Full of Grace” and “De Nadie”

“Maria Full of Grace” is a film about a young Colombian woman named Maria (played by Catalina Sandino Moreno) who decides to become a drug mule in order to earn money for her family. The film shows the harsh reality of drug trafficking and its impact on the lives of those who are involved in it. “De Nadie” is a documentary about the life of Latin American immigrants who try to reach the United States in search of a better life. The film shows the dangers that these people face during their journey and highlights the problems that they face once they arrive in the United States.

Both films offer a realistic portrayal of the immigration experience. “Maria Full of Grace” is shot in a more traditional way, with a focus on plot and character development. The film uses close-ups and medium shots to capture the emotions of the characters. In contrast, “De Nadie” is shot in a more documentary style, with a focus on images and interviews. The film uses a mixture of close-ups, medium shots, and wide shots to give a panoramic view of the situation.

The different shooting styles reflect the different perspectives of the directors. Joshua Marston’s film is more focused on Maria’s individual experience, while Jaime Valdez’s film is more focused on the overall issue of immigration. Marston’s film offers a more sympathetic view of Maria, while Valdez’s film offers a more critical view of the immigration system.

3. The life of immigrants: “Panorama”

“Panorama” is a short documentary about the life of Central American immigrants in Mexico. The film was shot by Jose Medina and John Alex Toro and features interviews with Mexican immigration officials, Central American immigrants, and human rights activists.

The film provides a realistic portrayal of the hardships that Central American immigrants face while trying to reach the United States. The interviews with Mexican immigration officials reveal the difficult conditions that these people face while trying to cross the border into Mexico. The interviews with Central American immigrants highlight the danger that they face during their journey north. And finally, the interviews with human rights activists emphasize the problems that these people face once they arrive in Mexico.

4. Conclusion

The films “Maria Full of Grace”, “De Nadie”, and “Panorama” offer different perspectives on immigration. Each film provides a realistic portrayal of the difficulties that immigrants face while trying to reach their destination. All three films show that immigration is a complex issue with no easy answers.


Both films portray immigration as a difficult and challenging experience. However, the first film portrays immigrants as more positive and optimistic about their situation, while the second film presents a more realistic and negative view of immigration.

The directors use different shots and angles to convey the experience of immigration. In the first film, the shots are mostly close-ups of the characters' faces, which conveys a sense of intimacy and connection between the viewer and the characters. In contrast, the shots in the second film are mostly wide shots that show the vastness of space and distance between people, which conveys a sense of isolation and loneliness.

The challenges faced by immigrants in each film include finding work, adjusting to a new culture, language barriers, and homesickness.

Each film depicts the journey of immigrants differently. In the first film, the journey is portrayed as an exciting adventure with many new experiences to be had. In contrast, the second film portrays the journey as a long and difficult process that is often frustrating and discouraging.

The overall message about immigration conveyed in each film is that it is a difficult but ultimately rewarding experience.

Some particular scenes or moments that stand out to me in either film include the scene in the first film where the main character arrives in America and is greeted by a cheering crowd, and the scene in the second film where the main character is shown working hard to send money back home to her family.

I thought both films were well-made and thought-provoking. I appreciated how they depicted different aspects of immigration, and I found myself empathizing with the characters in both films.