To Americans, stories about immigrants have always held a special place in our hearts, whether we realize it or not. They’re right up there with stories of treasure and the self-made man. The seminal American flick, The Godfather, is essentially little more than a story about immigrants and immigration. After all, aside from a small collection of now wholly disadvantaged American Indians, none of us are even close to native. There is a new movie out about coming to America.

Now available for the first time on DVD from Miramax Films and Rai Cinema is Golden Door. Pick this film up and take the important trip through Ellis Island and the golden door.

This romantic drama tells the story of two immigrants, very different from each other, but who both long for a different life in America. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Salvatore Mancuso, a Sicilian peasant, makes his way across the Atlantic to a new life through the Golden Door. On the way there, he meets the beautiful Englishwoman, Lucy. Surprisingly, romance comes their way. But Ellis Island is tougher on them then they could have imagined, and neither of them will stop before they have made it through.

The special features on this disc include an introduction by Martin Scorsese, a featurette about the making of Golden Door, and the original Italian language track from the film. It’s a bit weak on extras, but this isn’t a Michael Bay joint, something that four hours of editing room floor trash will actually improve.

This artistic look at the desire for freedom and the very human condition is compelling, even if it’s not a particularly good film. Immigrant stories always have some sort of serious appeal, especially in America. This film takes a deserved look at love, life, and the spark of humanity inside all of us.

This Golden Door is, if not a platinum hit, at least a solid silver.

This DVD is available at Amazon.com.

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