The Golden Door


reviewed by Marc Schulman

This film just released on DVD, is overwhelmingly in Italian is a powerful depiction of the immigrant experience to the United States around the turn of the century.  The film follows the trail of the family from Sicily on their voyage to the United States.  The film is a powerful cinematic achievement, with powerful scenes that bring the period alive.  The film is divided in almost equal parts between the period before the immigrants depart, the harrowing sea voyage, and the arrival and reception at Ellis Island in New York.  While I cannot comment on the historical accuracy of the first two parts of the film, I can state that the scenes that took place in Ellis Island are very accurate, and that part of the film alone makes the film an excellent choice for someone wishing to learn about the immigrant experience.  I highly recommend the film.  It can also be used in a high school classroom

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