Sunday, October 7, 2012

America, America

A Greek family living in Anatolia near the turn of the 20th century, begin to feel the strain of increased Turkish oppression and send their son (Stathis Giallelis) to Constantinople to start a new life. After losing his entrusting fortune to a con artist and enduring even more hardships, the indomitable young man sets his sights on the promise of America. "America, America" is legendary director Elia Kazan's most personal work, drawing on his uncle's own emigration experiences. Kazan shot the film with his sure hand, in crisp and beautiful black and white, and fills his movie with loving and often harshly realistic details. Giallelis is very endearing in the lead role and keeps a rooting interest through the considerable duration of the film. I thought it started to drag during the Constantinople scenes, but picked again for an extraordinary closing sequence.