The condition of the job as a poster hanger is that he needs to have a bicycle, but in order to feed his family Antonio had already pawned his bicycle. Facing this crisis, his wife Maria takes the family bedsheets to the pawnbroker to raise the money to redeem the bicycle so he will be able to take the job and bring in an income. With the remaining money she visits a fortune teller, anxious for some positive prospects. Antonio mocks her gullibility in believing in the occult. After starting the job he has his bicycle stolen and, finding the police see this as a relatively insignificant crime, he takes to the streets with his son Bruno and his friend Baiocco and tries to track down the thief.

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This is not a hallmark of Italian neorealist cinema generally. In that sense, it is more poetic and less quasi-documentarian than other works of the neorealist movement; it is also, in part for the same reason, among the most accessible and universal neorealist films, as well as the best-known and most influential.

The story opens at a government employment office where Antonio Ricci Lamberto Maggiorani waits with dozens of other men for job openings. Is he apathetic, or just hopeless? The problem: The job requires a bicycle, and Antonio has recently pawned his to buy food. It is Maria who sees what must be done: She pawns all their bedsheets some never used to redeem the bicycle. Consider all the film establishes in these brief opening scenes. First, Antonio and Maria are already at the limits of their resources, forced to choose between one necessity and another: transportation or food; basics of shelter bedding or employability the bicycle.

Second, a great many people are in similar straits. Third, Antonio is a sympathetic but flawed, passive protagonist — not noble or heroic, as the protagonist of a propaganda film would be. Antonio friskily manhandles Maria, who fights him off but smiles all the same. The baby lies in bed, awake but quiet. The targets are no better off than the thieves — though the reverse is also the case, as the film later reveals.

Yet it never reduces Antonio to a purely economic man, a workman and no more as both Marxist and capitalist theorists of a certain type might do, and as some commentators on the film do. Ironically, it is Antonio himself who does this; the bicycle and the job crowd every other consideration from his mind.

There are other kinds of poverty besides purely monetary poverty. Antonio suffers for want of social and moral capital as well as economic capital. Many see in the film a critique of the police, the trade unions, and the Church, none of which effectively help Antonio in his crisis.

What any purely economic discussion omits is the crucial role of young Bruno. For the most part, all the boy does is trot about the labyrinthine Roman streets following his father on a hopeless quest for the stolen bike. Again and again on that long day roaming the city, Antonio outpaces his son, at times charging ahead, not noticing if the boy slips and falls or even drops out of sight.

Alas, Antonio treats his son not unlike he treated the bicycle: carelessly. Searching the market for the bike, Antonio and a number of friends ineffectively split up, leaving Bruno alone. As the boy scours tables of cycling paraphernalia, he resolutely ignores a squirrelly-looking man badgering him, offering to buy him a shiny new bell.

In that potentially ugly situation mentioned above, likewise, Bruno shows more responsibility and concern for his father than vice versa. Near the Tiber he hears a distant clamor about a drowning boy. As it slowly dawns on him that this could be his son, he starts walking, then running, to the scene. Looking for a pizzeria, they wander into a fine restaurant, and for a few minutes they enjoy a happy respite over mozzarella sandwiches and a liter of vino.

But the privileged moment is too short-lived. When they leave the restaurant, Bruno is on his own again. Late in the day, trailing behind his father, the boy narrowly avoids being hit by a pair of cars. In despair at having found the thief but not the bike, Antonio decides to do unto others as they have done to him.

Though he tries to shunt Bruno aside, the son knows the father better than the father the son; and the boy, incredulous and stunned, does the only thing he can: He stands by his father despite his manifest shortcomings.

This is the first act of mercy that Antonio has received — and it leads to the second. Despite his paternal failure, the family remains the last bastion of hope and humanity, both for Antonio and for his broken world.


Bicycle Theives: the Unspoken Allure of Communism

Tar The bike stands for employment and the hope for a prosperous life ahead. A good neorealist film does not claim to be anything except a series of events but it is done in a way that the viewer can gather the true meaning. Without the haunting specter of unemployment, which places the event in the Italian society ofit would be an utterly banal misadventure. The Pasnonate Friends, pre- sented at the Cannes festival. Does the film seem to fit comfortably within the aesthetic and narrative framework we associate with film noir? Both films are about events that unfold over a couple weeks between a lower class father, Roger, and his son. Each image being on its own just a fragment of reality existing before any meanings, the entire surface of the scene should mani- fest an equaUy concrete density.


‘Bicycle Thieves’ and true poverty

Dashicage Bat let us not go from one extreme to the other and conclude that there is no such thing as a new Italian school. However, such a feeling is not justified, he says, arising as it does simply from the phenomenon of perception, And what is more magical, may one ask, more mystifying than the act of perception? That is why it would be absurd to resist every new technical development aiming to add to the realism of cinema, namely sound, color, and bicyxle. Off camera noise is used to tell us what is happening while staying with the original shot. Little Rari of Tabu, they say, ended up as a prostitute in Poland, and we all know what happens to children raised to stardom by their first film. How does Peeping Tom differentiate between these gazes?



Submit Task and Start Chatting Bicycle Theives: the Unspoken Allure of Communism Bicycle Thieves: The Unspoken Allure of Communism Bicycle Thieves is an exemplary demonstration of Italian neorealism that seeks to use non-professional actors to illustrate the struggle of average people surviving under a Fascist government. Stop Using Plagiarized Content. Get Essay Director Vittorio De Sica uses Bicycle Thieves as a vehicle in which to stress the burdens faced by the individual in a heartless and uncaring society. As an unemployed person, he has no value to the larger society and no apparent worth to his family as a provider. It is only once he secures a position as a poster-hanger that he begins to see himself as a productive member of society. This devastating loss propels Antonio into a life of crime, demonstrating that under an uncaring government and without social support, the poor have no choice but to hurt each other for lack of a better outlet, and that those who are stolen from eventually become thieves as well. De Sica creates drama and illustrates his point by putting his protagonist in an unwinnable situation.


Bicycle Thieves – Summary & Analysis

A neorealist film generally has a storyline set within the lower classes, perhaps showing an incident that occurs during the daily life of a worker. And without his bicycle he will be left unemployed again. This is a seemingly pedestrian plot that should not merit a news item, a Bazin says, much less an entire feature length film. However, by just showing the viewer the semi-mundane life of the poor Italian worker and his son as they search for the stolen bike and leaving any social implications unsaid or implied, a great realist film is born according to Bazin. Any of the shots as standalone takes would not mean much to someone watching them. It is when all of the events come together that a social meaning is constructed. Bazin believes this to be as about as natural and real as it can get.

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