The power of the cinema, a place where people come together, a community united where they laugh, cry and love together. Home of a force that can inspire the most hopeless of people, Cinema Paradiso is a celebration of film and how it changes life. The story of reflection of an Italian film director Salvatore Di Vita learning of the death of man named Alfredo from his childhood village, he is deeply moved by this news and there the film takes the audience back to Salvator’s past. This is a deeply moving film of a boy becoming a man and realising that he must take charge of his own story.
Young Salvatore or “Toto” is a child without direction, his only interest is the local village cinema named Cinema Paradiso run by the church. Toto regularly sneaks to watch the films and is fascinated by the power of cinema and continually bothers the projectionist Alfredo. Over time a friendship develops between the two as Alfredo takes Toto on as an apprentice in film projection. Alfredo is the type of mentor every young filmmaker would want as a mentor, he’s life lessons are derived from films and loves the cinema.
The story progresses and the Paradiso progresses with it as does Alfredo and Toto’s friendship. It shows how not everything will last, life moves on, people change, people go but with cinema it is timeless. Films never go away, they are Toto’s consistent but the film is about him learning that there is more to life that. The village he lives in will take him nowhere and Alfredo can see that there is so much potential for Toto if he leaves. How do you abandon everything you know to achieve what is not certain?, the personal journey for Toto to make that decision is inspiring.
I Don’t want to delve into spoilers but this is a feel good film that can inspire but there is tragedy and drama. Cinema Paradiso never tries to say its set in a better world it merely shows how films can make it that way. Everyone brought together by John Wayne or Charlie Chaplin, cheering so loud you can’t hear a word. Reality will always try to find a way to take away the magic but you must remember why film is so important. Cinema Paradiso is an inspiration to all that want to be so much more than what they are.
Well directed, terrifically performed with a powerful, striking ending, Cinema Paradiso is a story of love. Love for your friends, your family, your home and the love of cinema, how a film has the potential to change a life and maybe change the world.