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Antonio, a policeman (carabiniere), has an order to take two children (Rosetta and her brother Luciano) from Milan to Sicily to an orphanage. Their mother has been arrested for forcing Rosetta (11 years old) to work as a prostitute. First the relation between Antonio and the children is tough, but it relaxes so they become temporary friends. Written by
This marvelous film deals with a topic, exploitation of children (euphimism), that is difficult on viewers. All over the world bad things are happening to young people who can not control their own lives because they are children. The innocents tainted in this world will become saints and dwell in Heaven with Our Father. No, this film isn't about religion per se. But it is about the struggle and the triumph of humans over their sometimes miserable, but always radiant, terrible difficulties. The adult who has to deal with the two abandoned children is marvelously played and his growth as a human being in the sense of doing the right thing, rather than just "following orders" is a great performance. The leading character is an 11-12 year old girl who I understand was not an actress before performing in this film. I could open a floodgate of positive adjectives and remarks about her performance, but let's just say that she play her role so authentically and underplays, which is necessary, the plight of her character, where the underplaying is simply the character being herself in a world she endures,and must accept, but is one no one would choose. I hope that viewers will remember (and if they don't, watch the movie again) the final scene where she tries to give her brother hope and show the viewer that even the worst world can be inhabited and experienced with at least some joy--sometimes only a tiny measure of happiness is all we can get in our lives, but still we must savor it.
Many people complain that so and so movie is not on DVD etc., but this film was released on VHS for a short time in the early 90's and only a few copies are on the market at a fairly high price--the film should be transferred to DVD by Criterion or someone (I wish I knew how). Buy the VHS and watch a movie that points the way, as almost no movie really does, to the real, complex, harmful, and sometimes wonderful world that exists beyond the movie.
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