The Paradise Of Thoughtful Things

Do our dreams somehow speak to us? And are we brave enough to listen?

Maia is fourteen and doesn’t trust anyone, to the point of shying away from all kinds of physical contact. The only ones keeping her company are the characters of the stories she herself makes up, starting from random words she picks out of a bag. One of them is the repairman of dreams, who lives in the “paradise of imagined things”, a makebelieve island where you always feel safe. The repairman fixes broken dreams, that, despite some scars, might go back to working even better than before. But Maia doesn’t know what her dreams are, and that may be the reason why she often confuses reality with fantasy.
When the class is given a group assignment, Maia’s partner turns out to be Sebastiano, a quiet boy who never takes off his hat. He too has many stories to tell – he wants to study our planet to save it from all the damage we have inflicted on it. They gradually open up to each other, until they confess their deepest secrets: Maia doesn’t know anything about her mother, who died when she was a child, and Sebastiano always wears a hat to hide his alopecia, which makes him a target for bullies. But then, while on a mission to find photographs of Maia’s mother, Sebastiano tries to kiss her. Maia is terrified by this closeness and rejects him. He disappears for weeks, and Maia can’t forgive herself for ruining the only genuine relationship she has ever had. She becomes more isolated, but she also feels the urge to tell the truth: to her father, who acts as if her mother never existed, to the class bullies, who won’t stop torturing them. To Sebastiano, when he finally comes back to school. But before she manages to talk with Sebastiano, while she’s trying to defend him, she ends up confronting a classmate and falls. Maia blacks out and finds herself on the island with her characters. Here she meets the repairman of  dreams who is actually working on her dream, which has to be scraped clean of all the built-up anger surrounding it. Maia realizes that her dream is to trust in others. Now she’s ready to wake up, because she is brave enough to listen to her dreams. She just needed a true friend beside her – and perhaps something more than a friend – to share them with.