Thirty years after leaving his hometown in Italy to become a celebrated film director, Salvatore Di Vita (Jacques Perrin) comes home to attend the funeral of an old friend. Once back at home, Salvatore is flooded with memories of the town he grew up in, especially the cinema where he would spend countless hours and eventually befriend the projectionist Alfredo. While in town, Salvatore is also drawn to the memories of Elena (Elena Mendola), his first love, who left town prior to Toto heading for Rome. Through touching and comedic cutaways, you learn how important Cinema Paradiso, Alfredo, and Elena were in shaping Salvatore’s future.
Originally released in 1988 and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, “Cinema Paradiso” is a homage and celebration to the movie house many of us loved. The film took home several awards upon its release, including the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film; five BAFTA Awards, including Best Actor, Original Screenplay, and Score; the Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival; and many more.