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Word Count: 326
This film is an interesting look at what it is like to be an immigrant in modern America It is the story of Vladimir Ivanoff a sweet and talented but frustrated Russian saxophone player who feels the despair of living in the Soviet Union during the early 1980s In Moscow one is forced to stand in line to buy virtually anything from toilet paper to shoes and what is available is often of poor quality and very expensive Worst of all there is no freedom to protest the conditions of life Vladimir is not political but he feels suffocated and desperately wants a better life for himself The movie takes place about 1983 just a year or two before Mikhail Gorbachev came to power Even at the height of the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union the Soviets would occasionally send ballets circuses and other artists to perform for American audiences It is during one of these cultural exchanges that Vladimir finds himself in New York City and even though he speaks little English knows no one in the States and risks never seeing his family or friends again he suddenly decides to defect to the United States while shopping at the world famous Bloomingdales Department Store For the news media it is another chapter in US-Soviet relations and for Vladimir it is the beginning of a very different life in America Soon after defecting to the US Vladimir becomes involved with three very different people Lucia a very cute Italian woman who sells perfume at Bloomingdales Lionel a black security guard at that same store who invites Vladimir to live with him and his family and Orlando a Cuban immigrant who becomes Vladimirs immigration lawyer Together the four of them present a wonderful picture of the American experience in which everyone seems to be from another part of the world and all come
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