Another chance to see this nostalgic coming of age story, told from the point of view of the central character Salvatore. In a small Italian town, the church is rivalled only by the cinema as the centre of the community. The local projectionist Alfredo reluctantly assumes a paternal role in the life of young ‘Toto’ whose father died in WW2. Alfredo’s life is rural Sicily and, though he recognises Salvatore’s curiosity for the cinema, he is at first not keen to teach him his art, for fear that he too will waste his life away in this claustrophobic environment.
Many years later, Salvatore is working as a successful film producer in Rome. News reaches him of Alfredo’s death and memories come flooding back to him when he returns to his hometown, after a 25 year absence. He is movingly reunited with his mother and neighbours and begins to retrace his steps through the places of his past. Even when he returns to Rome, the presence of the old projectionist remains in the gift he has left which serve both as a tribute to cinema and a reminder of exactly what his own life has missed.
France/Italy. 1998. 123 min. Comedy/Drama. Director: Guiseppe Tornatore