Sunday, April 29, 2007
"Golden Door" ("Nuovomondo", Italy 2006, 120 min. shown as the opening night film at the 50th SFiFF) tells a story about a poor Italian peasant family's adventure to emigrate to a dreamland - the United States of American - at the beginning of the 20th century. But when they arrived, instead of the river of milk, it's the prejudicial and humiliating immigration process waiting for them.
The film is definitely great looking. It always seems telling its audience that it is about to tell a big story. So I waited and waited, but it never delivers.
A little bit more historical contents might help me to understand the film better. Instead, I am completely lost what they were doing in a room exchanging notes after those Italians arrived. Early version of mail order brides? Perhaps the filmmaker is more interesting in showing the glorious images than telling a story.
I wasn't sure what the main point the filmmaker is trying to make. Is the film trying to tell us how hard it was for these Italian peasants to come to the US at the beginning of the century? Or how messed up the US immigration policy has been since 100 years ago? And just who is that woman who speaks English on the ship and why is the character in the film?
I really wish the film could have shown us more. The film has so much potential and so much untold stories, but it finishes abruptly.