Photographer Fiorella Baldisserri is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From the project MORRIS “THE CINEMAIO”. To see Fiorella’s body of work, click on any image.
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 closure 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 savoring 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.
He drew movie theaters on his notebooks since he was a child, including advertising and movie reviews. It happened he met the owner of a cinema in a small town in the district of Bologna and for several years he worked as a cinema boy by displaying posters and helping him. When the owner died, Morris was asked to manage that cinema and he accepted without thinking twice. Morris was 17 years old at that time. Today, after 20 years, he manages 3 cinemas in small towns located in the district of Bologna. He pays particular attention to quality movies, he has a great sense of welcoming his audience, accompanying the film with aperitifs and theme evenings.
In Italy, cinema business has undergone a drastic reduction of more than 70% in terms of presences and incomes, 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.
All images and text © Fiorella Baldisserri
By Fiorella Baldisserri
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