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The Children Are Watching Us
(I bambini ci guardano)

Screening on Film
Directed by Vittorio De Sica.
With Luciano De Ambrosis, Isa Pola, Emilio Cigoli .
Italy, 1943, 35mm, black & white, 85 min.
Italian with English subtitles.

A searing portrayal of familial disintegration vividly told from the perspective of a five-year-old abandoned by his mother, De Sica’s proto-neorealist masterpiece foregrounds a thematic concern that recurs throughout his oeuvre – the troubled distance between children and adults as an echo of a dysfunctional society destabilized by fascism and war. As a vital witness to the callousness and ingratitude pervasive throughout society, the young boy’s struggle to ascribe moral values to the world offers both an indictment and an ambiguous vision of hope.

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