Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week: An Immigrant’s Story

Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. Uncle Bardie might even throw in a reflection on the movie. If so, it will make an appearance below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s movie is “Brooklyn” (2015).

It’s the Fourth of July and that means today I will showcase an American story for “Brooklyn” is an American story.

We’ve seen this story before. A hundred times and more. We never tire of it.

The immigrant protagonist lives her homeland for all sorts of reasons. It could be to flee political or religious persecution. It could be because there is only poverty for her in her homeland.

The immigrant protagonist passes that great figure of the Statue of Liberty. The immigrant protagonist finds herself alone on the streets of the city. The immigrant protagonist finally finds a place to live. The immigrant gets so homesick she can’t stand it. The immigrant meets someone or finds some cause or becomes passionate for this or that American. Suddenly the United States is her home, not the country of her past.

This is Ellis Lacey’s story just like it is the story of our German, Jewish, Greek, Italian, Irish, Japanese, Chinese, Polish, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Russian and Hindu forebears. They came to these shores for a better life. Only African Americans and the native peoples of this continent have a different story. Our ancestors chose this destination.

Ellis comes to Brooklyn in the late forties, early fifties. Thanks to her sister, Rose. She has it much easier than many immigrants. Her priest has arranged for her to have a place to stay. Still the emotional separation from her widowed mother and her sister makes her life in America difficult. Until she meets Tony, an Italian young man, who likes Irish girls and loves the Brooklyn Dodgers. The two develop a romantic relationship and Ellis comes to see that her life is with Tony.

All this time Ellis writes to Rose in Ireland, and Rose lives her life vicariously through Ellis. Then the unimaginable happens. Rose commits suicide. It seems that Rose was sick for a very long time and no one knew. Ellis must return to Ireland to comfort her mother and say a final farewell to Rose.. With reluctance, Tony sees her off. While in Ireland, Ellis must decide where her destiny lies. In Ireland or in Brooklyn?

This one will make you want to read the novel by Colm Toibin.

 

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