I decided to share an Italian classic this week since I was on a holiday in Italy for two weeks. This one is definitely one of my own favorites!
Bicycle Thieves (1948) by Vittorio de Sica shows the harsh reality of the working class in the post-WW II Italy. This neo-realist film concentrates on the story of a family man, Antonio Ricci (played by Lamberto Maggiorani), who manages to get a job despite the hard conditions of those days. But the job requires a bicycle and just earlier he had pledged his own bike to support his family. He gets the bike back, but in no time it gets stolen. Antonio is on the verge of despair. We follow him as he desperately looks for his bicycle around Rome to keep his job. His little son, Bruno (played by Enzo Staiola), tags along searching for the missing bike. The film is also and very importantly a representation of a father-son relationship.
Ladri di biciclette is based on a novel by Luigi Bartolini and the film has been voted among the most influential films of all time. Bicycle Thieves never gets old. The issues are still current today and people are struggling to survive. And even without the social awareness of the film, it shows great urban scenery and it’s fascinating to anyone interested in Italian culture/language.
The best things about Bicycle Thieves are the non-professional actors, human values and great direction. The characters are real and the spectator can truly empathize with the despair and the pain of being humiliated. The film is truly a touching classic!