The Promised Land
New York City, 1942. From the detention centre on Ellis Island, Ludwig Somner looks across a small stretch of water to the glittering towers of Manhattan, which whisper seductively of freedom after so many years of wandering a perilous, suffering Europe. Unexpectedly released into the city's chaotic midst, Somner finds himself adrift in this promised land, living the precarious life of a refugee amongst a community held together by an unspeakable past. Slowly building a life for himself, each new luxury - ice cream served in drugstores, bright shop windows, art, a new suit, a new romance and ultimately the possibility of a new life - has a bittersweet edge. Memories of war and inhumanity continue to resurface, even in a city seemingly bursting with opportunity. A haunting snapshot of a unique time, place and predicament, this is a wonderful evocation of a city, a gripping exploration of an individual haunted by the past and another powerful comment from Remarque on the devastating effects of war.