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The Italian director Vittorio De Sica 1902-1974 and screenwriter Cesare Zavattini are one of the most influential teams in neorealist cinema Together they made four neorealist films This paper will discuss three of those films Shoe-Shine 1946 The Bicycle Thief 1948 and Umberto D 1952 Each of these films were shot in Rome the capital and center of the Italian government The narrative of these films each reflect different aspects of a failing post-war Italian society the overcrowded juvenile prison system during the American occupation of Italy Shoe-Shine the severe unemployment of post-WWII Italy The Bicycle Thief and the failures of social programs to provide for the retired white collar professionals and former middle class Umberto D All of these films expose the viewer to the institutional insensitivity of the times and serve as a general portrait of post-war Italian disadvantaged class which were the majority of the people In a further analysis of neorealism it is important to note that the general public most of the inhabitants of the Italian peninsula were victimized by a continually failing Italian system The struggle for these masses of Italian people was amplified by a shortage of employment and lack of social services Those who were not adversely affected were people who either possessed exceptional political or financial power Both of these powers are deeply imbedded into the fabric of Italian history Many families which had retained their land and power since feudal times Aristocratic continued to influence the government structure and the exploitation of the masses These are evolutionary pangs which affect the masses at one time under the auspices of a landlord are now under a inexperienced government structure perhaps less experienced than Tito Livius republic It is also important to note that the Italian populace has always been in search of an identity This identity is not only expressed through nationalistic sentiments and a unified Italy but also through the ownership of real-estate The
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