The Golden Door review

The Old World meets the New in this sumptuous tale of Sicilian refugees arriving Stateside. Following Italian peasant Salvatore (Vincenzo Amato) and his family on their desperate crossing to New York, The Golden Door captures the misery and destitution of the immigrant’s story. Even under the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, these “refugees from poverty” find little respite, only degrading medical screenings and mental tests at Ellis Island. Writer/director Emanuele Crialese (Respiro) gives proceedings a dreamlike strangeness, shooting gorgeous sequences involving rivers of milk and Charlotte Gainsbourg’s alluring, down on her luck Englishwoman. Making the most of an evidently limited budget, Crialese makes the Promised Land seem as poignantly out of reach to us as it is to his tragic characters.

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