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Avalon (1990) is a feature film directed by Barry Levinson. It is a mostly autobiographical story of a family of Eastern European Jewish immigrants to the United Statesmarker who settle in Baltimoremarker, Marylandmarker, at the beginning of the 20th century. The movie follows the family as they grow, become more prosperous, and eventually own a large home appliance store. Avalon explores the themes of assimilation and how modernity has changed American family life.


Jewish ethnicity of the Krichinskys

Although the Krichinsky family depicted is obviously Jewish, this is never made explicit in the film. For example, a TV is given as a "holiday" gift. Independence Day and Thanksgiving are depicted as significant moments in the film but no mention is made of religious holidays. One of the few references to Jewish tradition is at the end, where it is brought up that "we do not name people after the living." The grandmother's funeral is set in a Jewish cemetery with graves marked with a star of David.


Avalon received Academy Award nominations for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, Best Music, Original Score, Best Cinematography, and Best Costume Design. Levinson's script won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay.

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