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The Golden Door artwork

The Golden Door

Thursday 11th October 2007

From the internationally acclaimed director of Respiro, The Golden Door, released by Optimum World on 29th October 2007, is a moving yet unsentimental film of mythic resonance which tells the story of the early years of mass Italian immigration to the United States.
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From the internationally acclaimed director of Respiro, The Golden Door, released by Optimum World on 29th October 2007, is a moving yet unsentimental film of mythic resonance which tells the story of the early years of mass Italian immigration to the United States.

Sicily. The beginning of the twentieth century. In a desolate corner of the Sicilian countryside lives a family of peasants who have worked the same land for generations. The hard monotony of daily life is interrupted by tales of the New World and its inhabitants, of the riches promised by this far-away paradise. Salvatore makes the momentous decision to sell all he has - his land, his home, his livestock - and to take his children and aged mother to a better life across the ocean. They must leave behind the antiquated customs and superstitions of their homeland; they must be strong in body and healthy in their mind, learn to obey and swear loyalty if they wish to pass through the Golden Door.

The time during which this metamorphosis is to be accomplished is the time of suspension on the waters of the ocean, four difficult weeks of crossing, to arrive at the final judgement: the Island of Tears, Ellis Island. Here, the guardians of the New World will study them, case by case, millimetre by millimetre. They will scrutinise the bodies and minds of these prospective citizens, in this wonderful, terrible place where many families will be forced to choose, to split up forever. Not all are destined to enter the gates of Heaven.

  • None or TBC

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