Cinema has always been Morris Donini’s dream. Everyone knows and loves him as Morris the “cinemaio”, the artisan of the cinema.
In this year of forced enclosure due to the pandemic, he decides to keep showing movies in an empty theater. In the darkness of his cinema, Morris sits on an armchair or on the floor at the back of the room, as he used to do during normal times, as if he is savouring lights and atmospheres that only images can give. He keeps the doors open to allow the inhabitants of the small town to hear the voices and the music of the stories projected, while flashes of light come out as reflections that send a message: cinema exists, the show goes on.
Resilience is also and mostly this: Morris (and sometimes his dog), as a sole spectator in a moment of great difficulty, with closed cinemas but with rents to be paid, with strength and determination, hoping that lights won’t switch off forever.
During his childhood, Morris drew cinemas in school notebooks with a flair for posters and film reviews. By chance he met the owner of a cinema in a small town in the province of Bologna and every day after that he asked him to allow him to become part of that world as he wanted to experience the atmosphere of the room, with its red velvet fabrics, the armchairs and the magical screen. In return he offered to do small jobs. Years passed and on the death of the owner he was asked to manage that cinema. Morris was 29 and without a second thought he accepted. Today he directs three provincial cinemas because he believes that cinema can give cultural identity even to small towns. Morris pursued an ideal of life that with patience and dedication became a reality.
In Italy, the cinema business has undergone a drastic reduction of more than 70% in terms of presences and income, causing an estimated loss of more than 25 million spectators: a collapse that has never been seen or even hypothesized since the birth of this sector which today is an industry.