MIMO: Portrait of a Modern Mime


Portrait of a Modern Mime


MIMO seeks to reflect on the current state of mimodrama in Florence, Italy through the eyes of the city's most prominent mime artist and street performer, Luigi Benassai. Professionally known as “Grey the Mime”, Luigi has been performing in front of the Uffizzi in Piazza Signoria for over 20 years and has devoted his life to this traditional art form. A beloved fixture in the city’s vibrant artistic landscape, Grey is recognized as an irreplaceable cultural attraction alongside the statues of the great Florentines.



MIMO will document the day to day activities and personal journey of our protagonist, revealing the motivations, challenges, and rewards of earning a living as a contemporary mime. As a result, we will create a recorded history that documents the evolution of mime artistry to this day and age, and contribute to the preservation of this great tradition for future generations to enjoy.


The audience for MIMO is universal; we invite people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds to enjoy the film. Making a documentary will allow us to access a broad audience and tell a story that will promote greater understanding and appreciation for the art form and its participants. Through movement alone, mimodrama speaks to our sense of self and reflects the human condition at large. Throughout history, mime has been presented to all classes of society, and has always elicited strong reactions amongst disparate audiences. It has sustained a love/hate dichotomy and was even banned following the collapse of the Roman Empire. Commedia dell'arte troupes were expelled from France during the late 18th century but survived and evolved into the performers we see today. It's a curious phenomenon that a little make-up and a silent disposition can generate such controversy.




Great mimes communicate beyond language, breaking down the societal barriers between strangers so everyone can join in the fun and spontaneity of extemporal comedy. Through performance footage and interviews with various mime artists we will lead our audience to realize the value of this art form, appreciate its history, and acknowledge its influence on our global society and theatrical arts for years to come.