Emanuele Crialese’s Nuovomondo (The Golden Door) is an absolutely awesome (and I use the word “awesome’ in the old-fashioned way, meaning it inspired awe) story about the Mancuso family in Sicily and how they decided to come to America, the “land of milk and honey”. The movie does an excellent job showing the realities of an Italian’s immigration to America. Instead of the usual scenes of weary but happy foreigners smiling brightly from a ships deck at the first sight of the statue of liberty, Golden Door shows the heartbreak and hardships of preparing for the move, dangers on board the ship, and degradations at Ellis Island.
We see their preparation for the voyage, the trip across the ocean, and what happens to them at Ellis Island, but not what happens to them in America; that’s left up to our imagination.
Today, we Americans celebrate our freedom and we honor people like the Mancuso family, who have been coming here for centuries, and continue to come looking for a better life. No matter what Donald Drumpf says, our country is still great, largely because of the brave, hard-working immigrants like the Mancusos.
Stars: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Vincenzo Amato, Filippo Pucillo, Isabella Ragonese, and Aurora Quattrocchi.