Although born in Rome in 1965, Emanuele Crialese has Sicilian roots, to which he pays tribute in film after film. In 1991 he leaves for the USA where he studies film direction at New York University. After making several shorts, he directs his first feature-length movie Once We Were Strangers (1997), in New York. The year was 1997, the film was in English and was awarded several prizes, among which the Valenciennes International Film Festival Award. He then decided to return to his homeland and met international success (both in festivals and art houses) with his first Italian work Respiro (2002), shot on Lampedusa Island in Sicily in 2002, with Vincenzo Amato and Valeria Golino in her most ambitious part to-date. In 2006, his next film Golden Door (2006), once again with Vincenzo Amato but without Valeria Golino (Charlotte Gainsbourg was better suited to play an English-speaking emigrant), examined the question of emigration to the States at the beginning of the 20th century, more particularly from the perspective of poor Sicilian peasants.
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