The Bicycle Theif Essay Research Paper 2 — страница 2

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the criminal?s address. The old man is oblivious to both and only wants to know what he will be given to eat. De Sica?s evaluation of the Catholic Church is clear. In a world in which the recovery of a bicycle stands between prosperity and starvation, a priest?s promise of heaven has lost his power to comfort the poor. Sanctuaries have become soup kitchens, where well dressed women herd the parishioners like sheep, and lawyers serve as barbers and leads the litany. While the bourgeoisie must seduce the power to Mass, Roman women line up to spend their last lira on a clairvoyant. When Antonio losses hope — admitting that even the saints cannot help him — he too turns to Signora Santona. Hungry for a brighter future, her clients come to her as they once did to the church,

confessing their problems. She in turn, provides them with metaphoric and cryptic answers. She tells Antonio that he will either find the bicycle now or not at all. She sounds like a charlatan but when Antonio and Bruno step into the street, the thief miraculously appears and the chase is on again. The criminal turns out to be a pathetic epileptic, just as destitute as Antonio. The police can offer no help without witnesses and evidence, so Antonio surrenders his fight without pressing charges. Hopeless, Antonio and Bruno wander aimlessly through the city streets, finally resting outside a soccer stadium. Hundreds of bicycles are parked outside. The crowd pours out, and Antonio is mesmerized by the sounds and sights of the cyclists riding by. In desperation, he dashes to steal a

lone bicycle. He is immediately caught, threatened by his captors and humiliated in front of Bruno, compassionately, the owner allows Antonio to go without pressing charges. In tears, father and son are swallowed by the crowd walking silently into an uncertain future. (McGills Survey Of Cinema, p.1) It was the thematic richness in the “Bicycle Thief.” I am aware that there has been a lot of complex criticism regarding this film, and much of it has been of diverse nature. For one thing, De Sica exposes a variety of psychological and emotional losses, i.e. the simple story of a stolen bicycle. At the same time, as Antonio meets frustration at every turn, he losses his confidence and his self respect and feels completely isolated. However, he is rises above the earthy, so to

speak, when he refuses to press charges on the thief. In the next major move of the film, he is quick to attempt to steal someone else?s bicycle. Humiliation is his only reward. At the same time, there is yet another facet of this film with has to do with father and son relationships. It is actually the emotional center, and in my view the one around which the entire story unfolds. De Sica has claimed that his primary intent was poetic rather than political, and the film has been praised as anti-Facist and pro-Solidarity. Indeed, the stark realism of this backdrop reveals the results of years of war and impoverished living. The comments made about society as well as politics are inescapable, but are not overt. When De Sica began directing in the early 1940?s he had already

established himself as a successful leading man on both stage and screen. Following his directorial debut, with a few sentimental comedies, De Sica collaborate with screen writer Cesare Vazattini on “I Bambini Ci Guardano” (1943); “The Children Are Watching Us,” and embarked upon an artistic partnership that would last throughout the 1970?s. He seems strongly influenced neo-realistic style, and in addition to the “Bicycle Thief,” they contributed to other films as well. (McGills Survey of Cinema, p.2) In view, the “Bicycle Thief” has much to do with a clashing of cultures. There are transcending messages, i.e., politics and social decay which appear in this movie, but are not necessarily the immediate intent of this film. At the same time, it could also be argued

that poverty is a central theme, because one man (and his entire family) depend upon the ownership of a single bicycle – - one which he is not able to get after it had been stolen from him. In emphasizing the need to honor the individuality of each culture, one Satyagig Ray saw no reason for closing the doors to the outside world in his films/community. Indeed, opening doors was an important priority of Ray?s work. In this respect, Ray?s attitude can contrast sharply with the increasing tendency to see his own culture (India) or other cultures, i.e. European, Spanish, Asian, etc., in highly conservative terms, for purposes of preserving them from the “pollution” of western ideas and thought. He was also willing to enjoy and to learn from ideas, art forms and styles of life