In AVALON, the hope and heartache of the American Dream are lovingly depicted through the saga of an immigrant Jewish family in Baltimore.


An evocative and nostalgic semiautobiographical film by Academy Award-winning writer-director, Barry Levinson, AVALON celebrates the virtues of family life. The family’s story begins with Jewish immigrant, Sam Krichinsky, arriving in America from Russia on July 4, 1914. Sam's brothers, Gabriel, Hymie, and Nathan, await his arrival. He settles in Baltimore with his brothers and raises a family. Over five decades, the family’s annual Thanksgiving gathering reveals the Americanization of Sam’s wife and son as well other family members. Friction develops between the more traditional patriarch and the younger generation who opt for assimilation and modern life over tradition.


AVALON traces the various transitions within the Krichinsky family and conveys the anxieties which afflict immigrant families as they assimilate into the more modern American middle class. This elegiac and melancholy cinematic classic shows that the American Dream has the potential to become a nightmare for some.



USA * 1990 * 128 minutes * English and Yiddish with English subtitles * Drama

Starring: Armin Mueller-Stahl, Joan Plowright, Aidan Quinn, Elizabeth Perkins, Elijah Wood, Kevin Pollack

Director: Barry Levinson