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Golden Door (Nuovomondo)
By Caroline Planque
Posted June 25, 2007

    Going west takes on a new meaning in Emanuele Ciralese’s latest feature, Nuovomondo as 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.  

    Ciralese’s epic 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 the Seven Gables Theatre   


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