For millions of immigrants entering the United States in the early twentieth century, Ellis Island was the gateway to a new life. Upon arrival, some travelers were approved, but many, due to illness or simply fatigue, were denied access and hospitalized.
Ellis, a fourteen-minute film directed by JR and written by Academy Award winner Eric Roth, tells the elusive story of countless immigrants whose pursuit of a new life led them to the now-shuttered Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital. Following its opening in 1902, approximately 1.2 million people passed through the facility, where the Statue of Liberty can be seen from the windows. Languishing in a sort of purgatory awaiting their fate, many were never discharged.