Cinema for maximum age 18 monthsby Simona Cortopassi - 2014.11.06
It's already popular in some parts of Europe and now the trend of cinema just for babies is gaining popularity in Italy as well. Women can breast-feed while watching the film, there are places for nappy changes and there's no problem if babies cry or scream. Starting in Rome, this project run by 'Città delle mamme' aims to involve women during the months when the bond with their baby is very close, thus allowing them to make new friends, to share ideas with experts and at the same time, to enjoy a film without having to worry about the silence in the room.
From its beginnings in Rome's Pigneto district, a once poor, now trendy area of the city, the project has been extended to other northern cities, including Milan, Udine and Trento. Venice has just recently joined the list but the model is always the same. Films are screened at lower volumes and with soft lighting, so as not to disturb the babies and to let parents walk with their prams up and down the aisles if they need to. The screenings are open for everyone, including baby-sitters, grandparents and fathers. Bottle warmers are available for anyone who wants to heat up milk and the toilets are equipped with wet wipes, talcum powder and sterilising equipment. There's also a play areas for older children.
The initiative includes premieres and classics, and is held two mornings a week at a reduced rate of €3 to €5. At the end of the film, there are therapists and psychologists available to answer questions about the child's physical development, behaviour and sleep. There's also an opportunity to get to know local family-friendly associations.
The strength of the initiative is that it helps participants to get back some cultural routines and normal social relationships, which new parents sometimes lose, especially in large cities. The project's other goal is to educate the public about the importance of breastfeeding in public spaces, to avoid the marginalisation of new mothers and also possible post natal depression.
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