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Free screening of Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso (1988)

Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square, Birkbeck Cinema

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Upon receiving the news of the death of his old friend Alfredo, Salvatore (Jacques Perrin), a famous film director, returns to his home village in Sicily after 30 years’ absence.  As he travels back, Salvatore starts to reminisce. We are transported back to the Sicilian village of his childhood, where we witness the growing friendship between his childhood self, Totὸ, radiantly played by Salvatore Cascio, and the tender-hearted projectionist Alfredo (Philippe Noiret), who shows him the endless worlds of cinema.  In the “Cinema Paradiso”, passions and desires, comedies and Westerns unfold on the screen before Totὸ’s enchanted eyes. It is against this backdrop that the teenage Salvatore (Marco Leonardi) meets his first love, Elena (Agnese Nano).

In this poetically reflective film Tornatore orchestrates the telling of a simple but powerful story about first love, dreams and friendship, and provides a unique snapshot of life in Italy during and after World War II.  Cinema Paradiso is a colourful canvas of vivid emotions; it is a film about what cinema represents for Totὸ and how it enables him to escape; it is a celebration of cinema as a magical place where the imagination can run free. Beautiful and heartfelt, Cinema Paradiso is, above, all a love song to cinema. 

Cinema Paradiso will be introduced by Dr Nicolette David.  After the film there will be an opportunity to meet our lecturers and learn more about studying Italian language and culture at Birkbeck. 

We would like to show you the way we teach Italian film, by showing you passionate and politically relevant films, talking about them with you and making you want to be active in the discussion. We can promise you will love the subject!

For more information about studying Italian at Birkbeck, please see -

The event is FREE, but please reserve your spot by booking for a ticket!

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