Bicycle Thieves

Topics: Bicycle Thieves, Vittorio De Sica, Lianella Carell Pages: 4 (1588 words) Published: November 14, 2008
Vittorio De Sica’s The Bicycle Thieves is a simple story set amidst a post-war Rome. It is a neorealist film characterized by setting the story amongst the poor and working class. The film surrounds the difficult economical and moral conditions of post WWII Italy, reflecting the conditions of everyday life: Poverty and desperation, with the implicit message that in a better society, wealth would be more evenly distributed. The plot is simple, surrounding a man, his son and a bicycle. The film tells a story of Antonio Ricci, an unemployed worker who finally gets a job to paste advertisements in the city of Rome. To keep this job, he must have a bicycle, in which his wife, Maria had to pawn their bed linens to get money to redeem their bicycle. However, early in the film, the bicycle is stolen while Antonio is at work and so the remainder of the film is spend on showing he and his son, Bruno attempting to search for it. Mise-en scene will be use to discuss the ideological function of the film was well as its social function within the film. Set in post-war Italy, where unemployment is relatively prevalent (25% unemployment rate), people are desperate to have a job. This can be seen in the opening scene where a group of people had gathered outside an employment office, waiting every morning for news, with hope that they will hear their names being called and get a job. Antonio was one of those who were called, but the job requires a bicycle in which Antonio had pawned it earlier. As he hesitates and ponders on how to redeem back his bicycle, the others around him are eager to take over his job, but due to different skills (some are bricklayers), they were not able to do so. When Maria pawned their bed linens and redeems back the bicycle, the scene moves to show towering piles of pawned laundry, this indicates that the Ricci family is not alone in its economic plight. The techniques employed in the mise-en scene meet the most exacting specification of Italian...
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