(Frank Wolff, Stathis Giallelis, et al / DVD / NR / (1963) 2011 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: Elia Kazan's 'America America,' a three-hour epic feature starring Stathis Giallelis as Kazan's uncle Stavros Topouzoglou, is a complete departure from Kazan's other classics, such as East of Eden and A Streetcar Named Desire.
DVD Verdict: Perhaps Elia Kazan's most moving work. It traces they journey of a Greek boy from rural Anatolia, entrusted with all the riches the family has gathered, who is tasked to go to America in order to start a new life for his family. It is set in the time of the persecution of the Greeks and the Armenians. His moral dilemmas as to what compromises he has to make in order to reach his goal are thought provoking for any one who has come from immigrant stock.
The cast is totally authentic, the lead actor is a remarkable young man. This fascinating, earthy and emotional film is one of the best - and until now very difficult to find anywhere.
Again, if you need more info, this film is legendary but so few know about it because it does not fit the mold that the Hollywood establishment demands. A brillantly conceived film the director Kazan attempts to reconstruct a refugee narrative experienced by thousands of Greek Christians escaping the horror of Islamic Genocide in Turkey.
The only comparable film might be the Canadian film 'Ararat' which concerns the Armenian massacres. But 'America America' has such immediacy, and such gifted black and white photography. [DBH] This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of: