Island of Hope, Island of Tears: A Review

Ellis Island is best known as the focal point for the European wave of immigration into the United States in the early 20th century.

The story of Ellis Island is perfectly captured in the DVD Island of Hope, Island of Tears.

This thirty minute award winning film is a tribute to the 18 million men, women and children who made the journey from their homelands the the United States. It traces their journey from their home countries, across the Atlantic and their arrival at Ellis Island where they were processed and allowed entry into the United States.

This poignant story shares how these people gave up everything, their homeland, friends, family and everything they were familiar with nothing more than they could carry so that they could start their life anew.

It highlights the struggles these people undertook to reach America so that they could have the hope offered by the American dream - endless opportunity and freedom from the tyrannies that often existed in their homelands.

The film will touch you with its heartfelt moving story - especially if you are a descendant of one of these brave immigrants who gave up everything to start a new life in the United States.

Island of Hope, Island of Tears was well received by film critics; garnering the following prestigious awards:

CINE - Golden Eagle Award 1990
Columbus International Film and Video Festival - Chris Award 1990
Earthwatch Institute Film Award - 1991
National Educational Film & Video Festival - Bronze Apple 1991

It was directed by Charles Guggenheim and produced by the National Parks Service in 1989.