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The Bicycle Thief is a deeply moving neo-realist study of post-War Italy which depicts one mans loss of faith and his struggle to maintain personal dignity in poverty and bureaucratic indifference Antonio Ricci is a bill-poster whose bicycle essential for his job is stolen by a thief Joined by his son Bruno Antonio vainly searches for his bike eventually resorting to the humiliation of theft himself Throughout this paper I will attempt to trace the character through The Bicycle Thief The film opens with a montage of early morning urban activities ending on a crowd of unemployed laborers clamoring for work Sitting to the side is Antonio Ricci Beaten down by despair he has lost the energy to fight His spirits are lifted however when his name is called out for a job Invigorated he damns poverty His joy however is fleeting employment depends on one condition -- that he owns a bicycle To provide for his family Antonio long ago pawned his bicycle and now in one day he raise the price of the pawn ticket Not knowing where he will get the money he turns to his wife Maria In their stark home the only thing left to pawn is a remnant of her dowry and the familys last vestige of comfort -- the bed sheets Bravely Maria strips the bed and begins to wash the linens At the pawn shop it becomes evident that the Riccis misery is not unique Their sheets are added to a mountain of small white bundles and Antonio reclaims his bicycle from the rack of hundreds Delighted by the prospect of a good fortune the couple happily ride away Antonio picks up his instructions for the following morning and Mariastops by to see Signora Santona a medium who predicted that Antonio would find a job He gently scolds his wife for her superstitions but Maria holds firm to her belief in the womans psychic
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