Avalon (1990)

Premise/idea review of Avalon (1990) from a Christian perspective. Avalon follows the Krichinsky family’s experiences in Baltimore following Sam Krichinsky’s immigration from Russia in 1914. His son, Jules, attempts to live the American Dream and opens a store. But there are many pitfalls.

A Christian-like voice to this film is, one, God’s people were once travellers looking for the land of “milk and honey” or the place of plenty. They found the place that provided for their needs. God provided it.

Avalon follows a similar line in that Sam Krichinsky finds the land of plenty, America, or as some know it as the land of opportunity and builds a life for himself and his family. But will they thrive there?

Sam’s son Jules tries to thrive by starting a store and making the American Dream possible. He finds he’s a bit out of his depth because of cultural barriers, the Americans are different, and their experiences not the same. Shared experiences and lives make living the dream out in the community easier as there is acceptance. Why is it that cultural barriers should be a barrier at all? Jules is trying to make the dream come true, but without the support of the community, he would lose business.

But he must try.

The American Dream; some are supportive, some are detractors and sceptical. There are those that strive for the best they can get. There are others who settle down. Then there are others who wish they had more, but circumstances stop the dream in its tracks, no matter how much they wish they could pursue it. And there’s the song American Roulette by Robbie Robertson which critiques the American Dream, as if it’s a gamble and nothing’s guaranteed in life. But Avalon observes trying to realize the dream.

There’s something intrinsic about the better life that compels people to find it. The intrinsic nature of finding a life must come back to God setting Abraham off on his quest for the Promised Land.


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