Nuovo Cinema Paradiso

By skiour / Posted on 01 October 2010

I saw your daughter. She’s beautiful!
Who knows how many Salvatores
must be running after her…

One or two. Bur there’re not all that
many Salvatores.
(SALVATORE also smiles,
but a puzzled smile as if
what she has said had
thrown him off-guard.)
I’ve got a son, too…he’s older.
And you, do you have children?

No. And I’m not married.
(ELENA sits there in
silence. A veil of sadness
clouds her eyes.
Are you happy?

All things considered, yes. Even if
it wasn’t what I dreamt of then…

Again SALVATORE is thrown off-guard, as if the round key of
his enquiry had met with only square locks. She continues.

My husband…you know him.

Sure, sure! Boccia…
(With a bitter smile)
What’s he do?

Politics. He’s the district
representative. We met at the
University in Pisa.

Then instinctively, in a shy voice, SALVATORE asks the question
that he probably wouldn’t have asked a moment later.

And…how come you never married
that guy from Tuscany?

The white foam of the waves splashes up over the wall of the pier, dashing
against the car windows. The shadow of the trickling water is superimposed on
the agony of their faces. ELENA hides her embarrassment beneath a faint but
haughty smile.

I didn’t want to…I had to fight
tooth and nail. But in the end I
(SALVATORE is unable to
smile. It’s as if the void
were growing and swelling
within. Thunder and
lightning shatter the
roaring of the wind and
sea, hut it does not rain.
Now her smile Jades away.)
At that time…I was waiting for

There is no resentment in her words. She has said them fondly. With the serenity
of someone who has suffered greatly and then found a strong convincing way of
suffering no more. For SALVATORE, it’s as if one of those thunderbolts had
pierced his heart. He leans over, gazing into her shining eyes.

But I’ve never forgotten you, Elena!

Nor have I. Even though you

(SALVATORE is staggered,
feels as if he were
plunging into the void.
What she has said strikes
him as grotesque. ELENA
strokes his hair, as if to
restrain his sinking
heart, gives a sweet
But what’s the point of talking about
it? We risk being pathetic and
(And she tries to change
the subject.)
You still live in Rome?

But SALVATORE ignores the question. He doesn’t want to change the subject.
He feels that everything is crumbling inside him, the alibis and excuses he had
had to give himself in order to accept the end of their romance. And instead,
now the tables seem to have completely turned. Without realizing, he shouts
desperately, staring wildly at her and shaking her by the

What do you mean, you were waiting
for me?! What are you saying?
(He controls himself at
once, continues, breathing
The last time we saw each other, we
made a date to meet at the Cinema
Paradiso. You remember? And you
didn’t come, you disappeared without
leaving a trace, nothing! I’ll tell
you how many years have gone by: more
than thirty!!!

Quiet rears stream down Elena’s face, glisten with the reflections of the
lightning and the waves.

I kept that date.
(SALVATORE laughs at the
absurdity of it. A
nervous, heartbroken
laugh, which slowly melts
away as she goes on to
But I was late…

(Tears continue to stream
out of her blue eyes, but
she tells her story in a
calm voice.)
I had a fight with my family. I tried
to convince them again that they
couldn’t separate us. But it was
futile. They had decided to leave
Sicily once and for all. Which is
what we did. I didn’t know what to do
any more, what to say. And I said
yes, I’d do whatever they wanted. In
return, my father promised to let me
see you one last time, to say
goodbye. But I hoped that by seeing
each other we could take advantage of
it and make a decision…I thought
we would run away together.
(She holds back her sobs.
Dries her tears with the
back of her hand, and
My father drove me to the movie
theatre. But you weren’t in the
projection booth. Only Alfredo…

Her voice continues over the scene of same thirty years before…







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