Two shoeshine boys in postwar Rome, Italy, save up to buy a horse, but their involvement as dupes in a burglary lands them in juvenile prison where the experience take a devastating toll on their friendship.
Vittorio De Sica
Edmund, a young boy who lives in war-devastated Germany after the Second World War has to do all kinds of work and tricks to help his family in getting food and barely survive. One day he meets a man who used to be one of his teachers in school and hopes to get support from him, but the ideas of this man do not lead Edmund in a clearer or safer way of living...Written by
The final movie of the military trilogy of Roberto Rossellini, which also includes "Rome - an open city" (1945) and "Countryman" (1946). See more »
What do they teach you in school now? Democracy?
I don't go to school anymore.
Why not? You don't like the new teachers?
I have to work now.
There are four of us at home, and we only have three food cards.
Poor Edmund. Why doesn't your brother have a card?
He never registered. He fought in the streets until the Allied troops arrived.
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I must confess to a lingering fascination of the condition of Germany, and the German peoples, immediately following WWII. The country, of course, was broken - destroyed - in ruins. More importantly, so were the people. The real life stories I have read speak to so many aspects of their condition: shame, starvation, disbelief, shock of the revelations of the evil of their own doing, and despair. Always despair. They are stories of how the human spirit can overcome the most horrific nightmares and conditions.
This movie drills to the heart of many of those issues, sometimes subtly, sometimes brazenly. Rossellini was never better.
I consider this movie to be a must view on two levels: First, it is quite frankly one of the best moves ever made. Easy words to throw around, and said too often about too many films. Those words apply here. Second, it is a must view for the understanding it can provide of what the world - particularly Germany and Europe - were like after WWII. It belongs to a small suite of movies (such as Schindler's List) that show real insight, a true view into the world during this bleak time in history.
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