By Caroline Planque
Going west takes on
a new meaning in Emanuele Ciralese’s latest feature,
its original Italian title reads, and
that literally means the new world. However it
still carries the usual dreams of prosperity and a better life.
The story, set in the early 1900s, takes us from one island to
another, –– Sicily to Ellis –– while exploring the
motivations, hopes, and hardships of the Mancuso family as it
embarks on a life-changing journey towards what they imagine to
be the land of opportunity, where coins grow on trees and giant
vegetables float on rivers of milk.
But not everyone is
welcome on the trip to Ellis Island (island of tears). The high
price to pay for the boat fare means that families such as the
Mancusos have to sell everything they own in order to be stacked
like cattle in the 3rd class section. Upon arrival,
more disappointment sets in as families are sometimes torn apart
when members are refused entrance into the United States based
on their health and intellectual capabilities.
odyssey is backed by the strong visuals of renowned French
cinematographer Agnès Godard, who often worked with Claire
Denis. The powerful cast, especially Charlotte Gainsbourg in
the role of English woman Lucy, all appear to be shrouded in
mystery, floating in a state of limbo, carefully concealing
their past with a future they can barely imagine.
Now playing at
Seven Gables Theatre
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