The Immigrant

1920. In search of a new start and the American dream, Ewa Cybulska and her sister Magda sail to New York from their native Poland. When they reach Ellis Island, doctors discover that Magda is ill, and the two women are separated. Ewa is released onto the mean streets of Manhattan while her sister is quarantined. Alone, with nowhere to turn and desperate to reunite with Magda, she quickly falls prey to Bruno, a charming but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution. And then one day, Ewa encounters Bruno’s cousin, the debonair magician Orlando. He sweeps Ewa off her feet and quickly becomes her only chance to escape the nightmare in which she finds herself.

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James Gray
James Gray, Rick Manello
James Gray
119 minutes
24 May 2013 (France), 23 May 2014 (US)
Marion Cotillard (Ewa Cybulska), Joaquin Phoenix (Bruno), Jeremy Renner (Orlando)



The film was called ‘Lowlife‘ at the beginning but the author of the novel ‘Low Life‘ threatened to sue. New title ‘Nightingale‘ was considered but James Gray preferred using the original title anyway as it has nothing to do with the book but was actually one of the official classifications for people coming in through Ellis Island. However, it ended up being called ‘The Immigrant‘.