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America America (1963) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • A young Anatolian Greek, entrusted with his family's fortune, loses it en route to Istanbul and dreams of going to the United States.

  • Elia Kazan, ethnic Greek but Turkish by birth, tells the story of the struggles of his uncle - in this account named Stavros Topouzoglou - in emigrating to America. In the 1890's, the young, kind-hearted but naive Stavros lived in Anatolia, where the Greek and Armenian minorities were repressed by the majority Turks, this repression which often led to violence. Even Stavros being friends with an Armenian was frowned upon. As such, Stavros dreamed of a better life - specifically in America - where, as a result, he could make his parents proud by his grand accomplishments. Instead, his parents, with most of their money, sent Stavros to Constantinople to help fund the carpet shop owned by his first cousin once removed. What Stavros encountered on his journey, made on foot with a small donkey, made him question life in Anatolia even further. Once in Constantinople, his resolve to earn the 110 Turkish pound third class fare to the United States became stronger than ever. But try after try, his efforts were thwarted. But as he seemed close to achieving his dream, it seemed certain that it would snatched away from him. But an earlier good deed may have helped him ultimately achieve his goal of reaching the United States and a better life.

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  • Stavros Topouzoglou is a young Greek man living in an area under Turkish oppression, who wants nothing more than to go to America. Stavros travels to Constantinople, enduring difficulties along the way that lead to the loss of all his family's funds. Rejecting any possibility for money, work or marriage that doesn't involve sailing to America, he defiantly hangs on to the dream, but his extreme determination may cost him his life.

  • The story of director Kazan's uncle, who grew up in a small village as a member of the Greek minority in Turkey in the end of the 19th century. When the oppression by the Turks increases, his father provides the young man with the family treasures and sends him to Constantinople. There he is supposed to make money and get the family to join him. But his own dream is different: America...

  • It is somewhere around 1900. We watch a young Greek man who lives a miserable life in Turkey selling ice in the town market. Although the Greeks are oppressed by the Turks, they refuse to leave the land of their ancestors. But our hero has a different opinion: sick of being humiliated in a daily basis, he decides to gather a little money and travel to Constantinoupolis. From there he will be able to fulfill his dream of "escaping" to America...


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