Bicycle Thieves ★★★★½

"You're all thieves!"
- Antonio Ricci

Bicycle Thieves is a simple, yet excruciatingly effective tale about a poor family man who gets the only thing that would keep food on the table for his family stolen, his bicycle. It's Italian neorealism at its absolute finest, Vittorio De Sica shows the hardships of the working man, and while Antonio Ricci is our main protagonist, it could just as easily be one of the other guys in line looking for a job. Beneath the surface it's much more than a story about one man and his son, it's a story about the entire Italian working class just after the war.

In a way the entire country concists of bicycle thieves, hence why the title is written in plural, and the quote in the start of the review also suggests this. The film is rich on symbolism, both subtle and more direct. An example of the latter is the name of the bike, a "Fides", the Italian word for "Faith". As Ricci loses his bike, he also loses his faith. A more subtle symbol I noticed is in his son Bruno's room there's a Giro d'Italia sign, which suggests that the message of the movie concerns the entire country.

Bicycle Thieves is a beautiful film, certainly one of the best Italian movies I've seen so far, and I'm looking forward to seeing more from this important era of filmmaking.