Bicycle Thieves Analysis

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While Rossellini’s Rome Open City portrays the struggle for freedom, De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves tries to find the human face. He discovered it not in the exceptional sorrow of war but in the misery of daily life where war is just one aspect of the human lot. Bicycle Thieves takes place at a specific time under a unique series of social conditions that shape both its narrative and its embrace of the Neorealist style. Consider the intricate sociopolitical climate of Italy just before the film’s release in 1948. Italy would hold its first election after almost twenty years of rule, Benito Mussolini was overthrown as head of Fascism and prime minister of the Italian government on July 15, 1943. The political framework of the Italians…show more content…
We see alleyways, overflowing soup kitchen, and brothel neighborhood, and everywhere hordes unemployed men whose frustration gives the film an urgent energy. Amidst this contextual background, Bicycle Thieves therefore, makes a rare, true entry in the Neorealism form in which only a handful of films qualify, even though, it does not portray or refence the times of its making within the film, it rather shows class division, and ineffective employment system. The film however, operates in two distinct modes: the narrative of a profoundly human struggle for survival that remains common to all, and the unromantic depiction of Italian class struggle in the postwar era. In the latter mode, the film illustrates a series of behaviors, and social structure that remain indifferent to Antonio and his desperate situation. It identifies Antonio and his family by their situational relationship, with the various groups present in Rome during the postwar period. E.g., Antonio’s family is displaced from his local group of communists, churchgoers, and market folks As Antonio and his son Bruno undertake a desperate search through Rome, De Sica charts a geography of poverty. We see alleyways, overflowing soup kitchen, and brothel neighborhood, and everywhere hordes unemployed men whose frustration gives the film an urgent energy. In a way, it could be said that Rome and its various neighborhood serve as pseudo-characters in the film. Beginning from the

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