In 1986, Louis Malle set out to investigate the ever-widening range of immigrant experience in America. Interviewing a variety of newcomers in middle- and working-class communities from coast to coast, Malle paints a generous, humane portrait of their individual struggles.
An exquisite, unflinching, but ultimately hopeful documentary on the state of the American dream -- which is, of course, not really "American" at all, but a more or less (where more=better) universal longing for versions of dignity and independence that can co-exist peaceably with an always evolving sense of shared community. Malle is as wry and humane a guide as one could hope for. Even his dangling boom mics charm.
30 years later, this documentary is at once a time capsule and a reminder that we haven't come far enough. Malle's vignettes move quickly and the characters he found are fascinating. I was impressed by how many loaded images there were in this great piece of documentary filmmaking! 9/10