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The Bicycle Thieves by De Sica This is a one of the most important Neorealist films Neorealism is a movement especially in Italian filmmaking characterized by the simple direct depiction of lower-class life De Sicas finest achievement is bringing the previously ignored working classes to the screen His primary aim in the Bicycle Thieves was to use the camera to show how people lived The non-professional actors give fine performances and lend the film a documentary-like air even though the narrative itself is fictional A crowd forms in front of a government employment agency as it does every day waiting - often in vain - for job announcements one of the unemployed laborers who participates in this daily ritual is selected to hang posters in the city a job requiring a bicycle which he has long sold in order to sustain his familys meager existence for a few more days He and his wife return to the pawn shop with a few remaining possessions their matrimonial linen in order to redeem the bicycle During his first day at his new work his bicycle is stolen He combs the city with his young son in search of the elusive bicycle The movie focuses on both the relationship between the father and the son and the larger framework of poverty and unemployment in postwar Italy The Bicycle Thief is a searing allegory of the human condition a caustic narrative of despair and hope loss and redemption poignantly told in subtle actions and spare words A singular camera shot follows an employee climbing several stories of pawned linen in order to store another acquisition A panning film sequence in a restaurant juxtaposes the father and son feasting on bread and mozzarella with an affluent family dining nearby A long travelling shot of a street bazaar shows Antonio and Bruno searching through an endless sea of nondescript bicycles all presumably stolen The Bicycle Thief is an
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