Closed cinemas are the death of hope

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Closing cinemas and theaters today, when, as Marco Bellocchio said, even under the bombs they remained open, is a severe blow to the human spirit in times of crisis. Our reflection on this.

I reflected how many, in these dark days, on these words of the director Marco Bellocchio regarding the new closure of cinemas:

“During the Second World War the cinema did not stop, even under the bombs people continued to go to the cinema. Cinema is a primary good and a great symbol, a possibility of dream and hope ”.

Not only is this very true, but I would also add that theaters were open and showing sparkling and wonderful musicals and monster movies during the years of the Great Depression in America and that people going to the cinema to see Gold Diggers of 1933 (The dance of lights) by Mervyn LeRoy not only was he passionate about the love story of Ruby Keeler e Dick Powell, but he saw represented by the choreography of Busby Berkeley the drama of war veterans and women forced by misery into prostitution in an unforgettable number like Remember My Forgotten Man. Those were the years of the RKO films, of Ginger Rogers e Fred Astaire, an unforgettable era of American cinema, which gave people hope and trust, a sentiment admirably summarized in 1946, after the drama of the Second World War, by The Life is Beautiful of Frank Capra. And during the wars the stages of the world and Italian theaters hosted the genius of comic talents such as Marx brothers, Totò, the varieties and the soubrettes, the comedians and the fantasists, the great prose … Art has always been and always will be the greatest consoler of the human soul. In this sense, comedy is on the same level as realistic drama, the cinecomic of the intimate film. Everyone has their own way of dealing with life’s difficulties.

We are afraid of closing the doors of the the only places where you could still find yourself safely, albeit masked and at a distance, to witness stories that someone has chosen to tell us, to move us, laugh, scare us together and forget for a couple of hours what is happening, our legitimate fears for the future and contingent problems . Attending a theatrical or film performance is living another life and doing it in a room that, as a place of worship (by the way …) gathers different people who, however, believe in the value of a form of entertainment that can make them feel better or worse, different in any case. Close these for a month (we hope) cathedrals of the human soul it will not serve to contain the spread of the infection that the free all of this summer sparked. It will only give another blow to those who continue to produce films and shoot them safely despite everything, without knowing when we will be able to see them, to the workers, to the distributors who have bought them, to those who set up the plays, to the actors, to those in the cinema and in the theater he works and even for us journalists who have always been interested in him with passion.

It has been said in the past that “culture is not eaten”, as if man were aimed only at satisfying basic needs on a par with any other animal. And today, as soon as the opportunity arose, it was not taken not even the slightest consideration of an alternative measure such as, for example, ending the last show at 10 pm, demonstrating how much this shameful idea is now introjected, which for too long politicians and characters without dignity have advocated from the benches on which unfortunately they have been placed. We are sorry to hear from Minister Dario Franceschini – which we praised at the time of the cinema law he proposed – argue that those who complain about the closure of cinemas and theaters do not realize the situation. No, it is exactly the opposite, dear Minister, it is not just a question of the sterile defense of corporatism in the sector. We are talking about these areas that we know well, but our heart also aches for all the other activities brought to their knees by the epidemic, which may have respected the rules but were punished together with those who have never done so in the absence of effective controls, in typical and cowardly Italian practice of “hitting a hundred to educate one”. We are fully aware of the situation we are in, and we hope to get out of it alive. But killing the hope that culture and entertainment – cinema, theater, music, opera, dance – have always given to man in desperate times is not the worthy answer of a country that the whole world loves precisely for its art..


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