Totò Cascio: “Glory can only be seen in trial”

The protagonist of ‘Nuovo Cinema Paradiso’ in a Rai short film on the retinitis pigmentosa from which he is affected, which will be broadcast on Rai1 and RaiPlay from 12 December, during the period of the Telethon campaign

“I needed to make the child Toto from ‘Nuovo Cinema Paradiso’ meet the adult Toto. I thought about it, I made my own path of awareness. Glory is proof, we are all good at accepting glory, but it can only be seen in proof. Until a year ago, I didn’t have the courage to talk about my problem with Tornatore. This is a starting point for me and I was also lucky enough to work with Mauro Mancini, a formidable director ”. Salvatore Cascio, the child protagonist of Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, says this during the presentation of “A Occhi Aperti”, the short film on the condition of retinitis pigmentosa from which he is affected, a hereditary disease that over time can lead to blindness and that affects about one person out of three thousand. The short will be broadcast on Rai1 and RaiPlay from 12 December, during the period of the Telethon campaign.

Made by Movimento Film with Rai Cinema for the Telethon Foundation, the short was shot in the same places where the Oscar-winning film was shot thirty-three years ago, thus creating a game of visual and emotional cross-references with the work of Tornatore. And it is Totò himself who in the short film tells us about his condition in first person, what it means to lose his sight and find himself in an emotional labyrinth from which he tries to get out with all his strength.

“It was a blow – he says – to learn that he is suffering from what I do not call disease but condition, they were difficult years. It is difficult for a 12-year-old to metabolize and accept all of this. I did it with time, with my tears, with my attributes and with my sacrifices. In my current condition I can only see a stream of light in the center of the eye, a disabling situation. Those who suffer from the same condition must believe in the research, but accept it and move on. In daily life – he adds – I am quite autonomous, but there are many things I cannot do: I have left, I appreciate life for what it gives me, it is not easy but it can be done. My book will be out shortly where Peppuccio (Tornatore) will give me the preface. I would like to do cinema again – he concludes – And be a testimonial for those in need, such as Bebe Vio, Annalisa Minetti, Andrea Bocelli and Alex Zanardi ”.