An American Rhapsody is based on the true story of Eva Gardos, her biological parents, her foster parents & her grandmother. The film follows the life of all these individuals during a 20 year period of time, starting with the necessity of her parents needing to flee Budapest in the aftermath of WW II when Stalin's troops takes over Hungary & life for Hungarians change dramatically.
The parents with their 5 or 6 year old daughter are able to flee as a group but for the youngest member of the family - a baby - things do not go as planned & she must be placed with a childless couple who live in the countryside.
I don't want to give the story away so I won't go into detail about the story itself other than to say this child ends up in America apparently adapting to this drastic change in her life that came about through subterfuge. This has long range effects on the child, resulting in greater than average teenage angst that comes to a head with nearly disastrous consequences.
Everyone in the film has been traumatized in some way. The young couple works hard & become successful; yet, their experiences make them guarded & far more cautious about things. The foster parents are heart broken & their young charge cannot forget them & the life they had together.
Having met several individuals in my own life who came to America after WW II & listening to their stories, I have been fortunate enough to be privy to these stories. I am one of those individuals born in American whose parents were the product of generations of previously American born ancestors; so, there were never any stories handed down because those who 1st came to America did so between 150 to more than 200 years prior to my birth.
This film is just one of many such stories including the one told in Eli Kazan's movie, America, America along with this one. If we don't become familiar with such stories, we cannot understand how it is for others who come to America these days. That they struggle not only to adapt but to succeed or at least succeed enough so that their children's future has the opportunity to do better than they were able to achieve.
We need to have films made showing the same for the Hispanics & other ethnic groups that are presently coming to America seeking citizenship & a better life for their children. Not all groups coming to America persist in speaking their native tongue rather than learn how to speak Americanized English.
This is a beautifully crafted film that I feel should be seen by at teenagers so that they might get some idea of why a family from a foreign country would want to come to America.