Bicycle Thieves ★★★★

Vittorio De Sica's masterpiece is a bleak portrait of the helplessness and uncertainty experienced by the lower class in post-war Italy. In Ladri di biciclette we follow Antonio Ricci, a man who lives on the outskirts of Rome and does everything he can to support his family. His fortune seems to change when he succeeds in obtaining a coveted job, but everything is put at risk when his bicycle, an essential tool to carry out his daily tasks, is stolen; Antonio, accompanied by his son Bruno, will not rest until he finds whoever responsible. The story is simple but very effective thanks to the sober direction of De Sica and, mainly, to the great work done by Lamberto Maggiorani who, with great empathy, transmits the will and despair of a man who wants to live in a dignified way; on the other hand, Enzo Staiola gives life to little Bruno with whom we share the sadness, despair and even brief moments of joy, all of them condensed in an unforgettable and bittersweet scene where he eats mozzarella in carrozza.
Ladri di biciclette is a devastating drama about poverty and the values of a world whose socio-economic structures were still shaken after the war; a universal story in which we witness the slow and gradual destruction of a man's soul.

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