Phase9 Movies 2000-12

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Year: 2000
USA: Universal Focus
Cast: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Harry Dean Stanton, Claudia Lander-Duke, Oleg Yankovski
Director: Sally Potter
Countries: UK / France
USA: 97 mins
UK: 99 mins
USA Rated: R for sexuality
UK Certificate: 12 contains some moderate sex scenes
USA Release Date: 8 June 2001
USA Release Date: 25 May 2001 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
UK Release Date: 8 December 2000


The year is 1927. A little Jewish girl (Fegele) lives happily with her father, a cantor, and her grandmother in a Russian village. But with the ever-present threat of persecution, her father leaves for America to find work and then send for his family. Soon after he leaves, violence engulfs the village. Fegele is bundled off with some fleeing villagers who hope to get to America, but she ends up on a boat to England.

Fegele is re-named Suzie (Christina Ricci), sent to a Christian foster home and to a school where she is forbidden to speak Yiddish but learns to sing. Ten years later she leaves England for Paris, where she becomes a chorus girl and befriends an ambitious blonde Russian dancer, Lola (Cate Blanchett). She starts to save, hoping to earn enough money to pay for her passage to America. Together Lola and Suzie find jobs in the new opera company of impresario Felix Perlman.

Suzie falls in love with gypsy horse-handler Cesar (Johnny Depp), while Lola falls for Dante Dominio (John Turturro), an arrogant Italian opera singer. When the German army invades Paris, Dante, with Lola at his side, immediately collaborates with the Nazis, while Suzie joins Cesar and his band of gypsy musicians.

Suzie and Lola are now in different political camps and with the Nazis persecuting Jews and gypsies the pressure on Suzie and Cesar's relationship is immense and with the onset of war, they are struggling to survive.

The Nazis have plans to round up the Jews and Gypsies. When Dante betrays Suzie, Lola decides to leave him: she tells Suzie that she will help them both get out. Suzie wants to stay and fight but Cesar encourages her to leave. Suzie is heartbroken, but eventually agrees and Suzie and Lola board a ship bound for America. But will she ever be reunited with her family again?

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