Cinema Paradiso (Nuovo Cinema Paradiso) by Giuseppe Tornatore (1988) (Italy)

Alfredo and young Salvatore in the projector booth

Often credited for reviving Italy cinema, Cinema Paradiso only struck international fame after the original 155 minutes long film was cut down to 124 minutes. As reviewer Sameer Padania said, “In many ways, it is easy to see why Cinema Paradiso received such a critical savaging: it is unashamedly romantic and emotionally manipulative; the characters, while largely amusing and engaging, are hardly complex” (Kamera). The story of a young boy, who grew up putting everything else that was important to him aside, that tells of his childhood, his coming of age, and as an adult, his current reflections about his past.

This film not only showcases how a young boy copes with his dreams but how his dreams came about, to an extent also revealing director Giuseppe Tornatore’s passion and how it surfaced. While the film itself is critically acclaimed internationally, it is the montage of romantic scenes that was shown at the end of the film, also Alfredo’s last and final gift to Salvatore Di Vita.

Adult Salvatore watching the film reel of censored romantics that Alfredo had compiled

Influenced mostly by my own passion to be a filmmaker, I decided to write a poem of why Alfred eventually decided to give Salvatore the film reel from my point of view.

Behind the Light

In the dusty projection roomThe images on the screen
Old, new, everything they see
In the Cinema of Paradise

In the dusty projection room
His hands turn the reel
Naturally as if it speaks
In the Cinema of Paradise

In the dusty projection room
A visitor comes, freshly curious
I teach and he learns
In the Cinema of Paradise

In the dusty projection room
A son I see him
A father he sees me
Destined for greater, he is

He has talent I don’t
He should pursue his dreams
He has to leave everything
Not in the Cinema, no
But in the town Sicily.

About the Author:
Edna is an avid reader who wishes that she has free time enough to find snacks to eat.


  1. French, P. 2007. Cinema Paradiso. [online] Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2007/jun/10/dvdreviews [Accessed: 24 Jun 2013].
  2. Padania, S. 1989. kamera.co.uk – film review, Cinema Paradiso. [online] Available at: http://www.kamera.co.uk/reviews/cinemaparadiso.html [Accessed: 24 Jun 2013].

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