Directed By Giuseppe Tornatore
Cinematography by Blasco Giurato
In the heart of Italy lies a small village whose biggest source of entertainment and joy comes from the local movie theater, which the title of this film gets its name from. Cinema Paradiso is a place for the community to come together. It's set in the years following World War II, when this was a common way for towns in the country to live. The story follows the life of a young boy, Toto, and the strong bond he develops with the cinema's projectionist, Alfredo. It depicts both the magical and harsh realities that come with people and places evolving over time.
While I did not grow up with a similar circumstance of a local theater, I can relate to having a passion for movies as a young kid. In general, it's an exceptional and unique coming-of-age story that explores so many universal topics. And while I usually am not big on films spoken in other languages, this one is certainly an exception. It doesn't hurt that I have a particular fondness for the Italian language and spent over two weeks in the country not too long ago. The film manages to cover all sorts of emotions, but always does justice to each and never feels like its overstepping its place. Ennio Morricone provides a memorable beautiful score to accompany it all.