1948, just a couple of years after the end of WWII, a father is desperately seeking a job to support his family. At his first day as a bill sticker, somebody steals his bike, imperilling his job. Alongside his son they will turn Rome upside down to find it.
As one of the most characteristic films of Italian neorealism, Bicycle Thieves is exactly what its director, Vittorio de Sica, wanted it to be: an honest representation of post-war working class. Filmed exclusively on location, since no production company wanted to finance it, and with quite a few non-professional actors (such as the kiddo that De Sica spotted watching filming while selling flowers with his father), this film is the incarnation of Italian neorealism.
One unable to offer the basics to their family, deals with a huge impasse. Poverty, mirrored in the eyes of a child, is so harsh that can make one abandon hope, feel even more desperate and, in the end, compromise his ethics. This film narrates all of the above (and a lot more) with such a shocking honesty, and is undoubtedly a rough diamond of Italian cinema.