Cinema Paradiso

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Jorn Nash
Professor Martin
RTVF 305
1 November 2011
Cinema Paradiso (Extended edition)
Cinema Paradiso reminds us of how important the people around us are as well as the sacrifices they make because they care about us. When we are young, we take our friends, family, and our community for granted. Giuseppe Tornatore demonstrated the true value of the father-son relationship in this movie. Although Toto’s father dies in the war, the real father-figure in his life ultimately ends up being Alfredo. He takes the mischievous, troublemaking Toto and raises him to become a successful man. Whenever Toto gets in trouble, Alfredo is there to support him. Through him, Toto learns that he has the potential to become something great. The greatest message Tornatore gets across in this film is the power of companionship. Be it Toto’s relationship with his girlfriend, Alfredo, or the people in his community, it holds a certain importance greater than any future that can be planned.

Early on, it’s mentioned that Toto’s father was away in the war. It’s never really stated whether or not he was drafted or if it was his career choice, however, in both instances, there’s no doubting that his going to the war was for his family. Dodging the draft would have displaced his family from home or even portray him in a cowardly light. Choosing to fight in the war would have supported his family with financial security. So, it can be inferred that Toto’s father gave his life for the well-being of his loved ones. Also, when Toto is being punished for stealing his mother’s milk money, Alfredo is there to save the day. Even as early as this, Tornatore makes it clear that Alfredo cares about Toto. Another important part of the film that demonstrates sacrifice for love is Toto’s relationship with Elena. Despite the fact that she doesn’t take his heart at first opportunity, he is persistent. He promises her that he will wait every night for her to fall in love with him, and he does....
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