Entering through the Golden Door: Cinematic Representations of a Mythical Moment

Yiorgos Kalogeras, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Yiorgos Kalogeras will discuss how Elia Kazan’s America-America (1963) serves as an archetype for two recent films dealing with immigration and the politics of whiteness: The Brides (2004) by Greek director Pandelis Voulgaris and Nuovomondo/The Golden Door (2006) by Italian director Emanuele Crialese. While both films characterize the immigrant’s passage as one into modernity and opportunity, they represent the experience of being viewed as “other” in different ways. Voulgaris portrays a fetishization of the immigrant, in this case a woman. In Crialese’s film, arrival at Ellis Island is a traumatic ordeal of exclusion based on pseudo-scientific racialization.