Vittorio De Sica helmed a long string of humanist, neorealist masterpieces that were at once tender portraits of the average people of post-war Italy and thinly veiled critiques of the reconstructionist state, including Umberto D. Retired pensioner Umberto Domenico Ferrari (Carlo Battisti), alone except for his treasured dog Flike, struggles to get by on his scant allotment. Forced into the streets after he can’t come up with rent money, Umberto and Flike set out on a heartbreaking yet ultimately redemptive journey, despite society’s drive to move on and forget the past (including many more just like Umberto). From a script by Cesare Zavattini, Umberto D. was initially a failure in Italy, as the country was ready to move on from doom and gloom, but has since earned its place as a sentimental masterpiece. In Italian with English subtitles.
Appears in: Friday Film Club — Animals
Genres: Drama, Neorealism
Other Films by Vittorio De Sica
De Sica’s social drama, along with Roberto Rossellini’s Rome, Open City, is the most emotionally engaging film of the Italian Neo-Realist film movement. Focusing on Antonio’s (Lamberto Maggiorani) working class plight as a man whose means of transportation (a bicycle) is stolen, placing his employment in certain jeopardy. As he and his young son Bruno …