Nuovo Mondo, or Golden Door to English speaking audiences, is the last and latest movie tipped to take the title of Best Film at the Venice festival. It recounts the tribulations of immigrants leaving Sicily to sail for a better life in America at the start of the 20th century.
French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg stars as a lonely English woman who ends up travelling with a Sicilian family. She has described it as one of the most difficult roles she has ever undertaken. “I felt isolated because I don’t speak Spanish and I only speak a little bit of Italian. But that also helped me impersonate my character.”
The film’s director, Emanuele Crialese, says he wanted to explore the hopes and fears shared by millions of Italians at the time who left everything behind in search of a better future abroad. But the story is also likely to be regarded at home as a call for greater tolerance and understanding now that Italy has become a major destination for immigrants from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.