Monday, October 02, 2006

The Bicycle Thief

Vittorio de Sica, 1948
93 minutes, black & white
Italian with English subtitles
Ages 6 or so and up

My 9-year-old was rapt watching the elegant, simple story of a man on a mission to find a stolen bike without which he can't work or feed his family. The life of the young son, so different from ours, was a good starting point for a discussion of postwar life, poverty, urban hardship...depressing, but it worked for us, and it's an accessible cinematic classic.
Good go-with: Marcovaldo, short stories by Italo Calvino, set during the same period and later, can definitely be enjoyed by children.

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