Bicycle Thieves (1948).

bicycle_thief_o2An Italian neo-realist film about a desperate father searching post-war Rome for the bicycle which he has to find otherwise he will lose his job.

I studied Italian neo-realism during my first year at university. What I really admire in this film is the total lack of the artifice seen in American and British films. Even my younger brother (who has never seen an Italian neo realist film before) felt sorry for Antonio and Bruno.

Various publications have stated this film to be the greatest film ever written. While I do disagree to this film having such a lofty title bestowed upon it, it’s certainly not far off in my estimations. The long takes in the film can’t help but make you feel a part of the poverty-stricken postwar Italian society where the unemployed masses huddle, awaiting news of available jobs.

The acting from all involved is top-notch. A particular scene in the film which caught my attention was the scene where Antonio and Bruno are eating at a restaurant as a treat. The difference between the poor father and son and the richer diners is certainly significant. The actors meld with the backdrop and as a result you feel as if you are simply watching another moment progress because it all fits together so well.

A good example of the Italian neo-realist movement. Another film of this genre would be Ossessione.

MY RATING: *** / *****


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