"Bicycle Thief" is a story about people on the edge of starvation and
about deeply felt familial love. Young people today, on the whole, have
no experience of either theme. Widespread hunger is something outside
their own lives - it's something you see on tv in some foreign
country. And the social expectation of stable family relations is gone.
Even if kids today have that kind of love in their lives, the way
families break up now, the idea that a father and son would rather starve
together than live apart is totally alien to what they know of life. Add
to that the movie is set in post-World War II Italy (in a foreign country
and in their grandparents' era) this beautiful film classic means
virtually nothing in them.
Okay, I'm climbing down off my soapbox now.
Audio Visual/ITV Center
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA 94132-4200