There is no greater story than that of the wave of immigrants who left the Old World to come to the New around the turn of the last century. The narrative of immigration embodies ideas of hope for a better future, of taking large risks with no guarantee of success, of shedding the skin of the past and creating a new person. This tale has been the inspiration for many works of art - just think of Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather trilogy, or Elia Kazan's magnificent America, America. Emanuele Crialese's sweeping new film is a fine addition to this genre. Beautifully shot and conceived, Golden Door also boasts a radiant, nuanced performance from the wonderful Charlotte Gainsbourg and Crialese's singular storyteller's finesse. Set in 1913, the film begins in rugged, rural Sicily, where weather-beaten peasants have eked out a living working the same land for generations. One day, the monotony of their lives is interrupted by the arrival of a stranger from America, who passes along stories of wealth and good fortune, potatoes as big as train carriages, carrots as long as canoes and trees dripping with gold coins. His job is to accompany the families of men who have already emigrated and are now working happily across the ocean in America. The Mancusos, a Sicilian peasant family, decide to chase the dream of a new beginning. Golden Door tells their story as they pack up family and possessions and, despite the objections of their grandmother, turn their backs on their country. The trip will not be an easy one. Physical hardships are certain, but the voyage will also require a new way of thinking - and this is what Crialese is so interested in depicting. The Mancusos, all of whom must tentatively confront their hopes and fears, are beautifully portrayed. They become a microcosm of all those stoic travellers who left their homelands in search of a better life on this continent. Their journey - by cart to the port, by ship across the ocean, culminating in arrival at New York's Ellis Island - becomes a captivating story of steely endurance and unanswered questions that does not end once their boat reaches land.