Days and Clouds – Giorni e nuvole (Silvio Soldini – 2007)

In tune with the tough economic times these days, the film explores the impact of a job loss on a middle class family in Genoa.

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I found this film very interesting, especially when viewed through the prism of The Bicycle Thief (Vittorio De Sica – 1948). Both effectively depict the rigid patriarchal family structure with its concrete male beliefs of serving as the ultimate provider no matter what and the tendency to hide problems from the spouse. In both films we see the husband seeks help from his friends first and the friction it brings when the wife finds out later.

Unlike The Bicycle Thief, where the cause for job loss is the instrument for working (i.e., bicycles), in this film it seems the male pride and stubbornness have a central role as they were the root cause for tensions between the husband (Antonio Albanese) and a new business partner with different perspectives – tensions that mushroomed into a job loss.

The film goes through the dramatic changes that affect the family as they’re spiraling down both emotionally and economically, having to leave their posh condo into a small flat, husband working as delivery guy, selling status symbols like their boat and artworks. Margherita Buy plays the wife who sacrifices her career to support the dwindling resources of the family.

From a distance of 60 years, circumstances may be different in Bicycle Thief, but human nature seems to be constant in both films. It’s all about lack of communication, dominant male ego that needs to go full circle to realize that at the end, he shouldn’t carry a bitter load alone, it’s about a couple, a family that unites to face challenges together. And from this togetherness comes hope.

By Shlomi Ron

Visual marketing guy with a penchant for fine Italian cinema.

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