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Michael Domino Film Plumbs Depths of South Bronx Despair, Redemption

Mott Haven examines the changes that swept the South Bronx in New York City. (Photo: Domino Pictures)

Writer/Director Michael Domino officially launches his Domino Pictures release today (July 6) titled “Mott Haven-Cash For Keys.”

It’s based on his book written with Robert Mladinich, toplining Robert Davi and Paul Wilson.

The movie not only focuses on saving South Bronx inhabitants, but it also brings an important focus on the need to save the environment.

Bringing the two causes together adds power to a movie that has become a much talked about title at festivals where is has screened.

Davi (“Die Hard,” “License to Kill”) delivers a complex, compelling performance as former mogul, radioman Hal.

Michael Domino

The character of Roman, essayed by Wilson, is based on the co-writer, producer and director of the movie.

“I wanted to do a film that addressed pressing issues of the day. For me Mott Haven captures in some way the essence of this genre,” says Davi.

“It is an honest film that provides an alternative to the sound and fury of a lot of contemporary filmmaking that I enjoy while eating popcorn, but does not provide philosophical discussion.

“The two souls eventually meet on a park bench in Mott Haven, in the South Bronx and effect not only each other but the others in the community.”

Domino describes the movie in one simple sentence: “At its core, it is a redemption story.”

Robert Davi

Domino, who has worked in the recycling business for more than 30-years, wrote the movie with Mladinich, as did the pair on an earlier movie entitled ‘The Expediters.”

That film was inspired by a chance meeting with a former radio giant who, after a life living on Park Avenue, ended up living on a park bench.

From the bench, the former mogul found a single-room apartment in the South Bronx neighborhood of “Mott Haven.”

The premise provides the basis for the fictional story of Hal and Mike’s fight to stop gentrification.

Mott Haven is a real place, in the South Bronx of New York City.

Domino, who is also shopping a new novel called “Camp Hero,” has been a significant figure on the sidelines for years, writing several novels, plays and even a book on his photography.

Officially launching his banner Domino Pictures, Domino says, “I want to tell great stories with great messages.”

Check out the trailer below:

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