Media Studies Intro to Cinema

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Blog Challenge #2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Francesca Scaturro at 6:33 am on Thursday, October 6, 2011

In what ways can you see the historical and political context of post-war Italy reflected in Umberto D? Think not only about the narrative, but about the pacing, and the use of mise-en-scène….

In Umberto D. we are able to see post war Italy reflected in a couple of ways throughout the film. We can see that there are many people who are left without a lot of money, as the film does start out with men protesting to increase their pensions. This shows a political aspect in the movie in regards to pensions and how pensions were rewarded to people after they worked their whole lives for it.  Umberto D. is victim to the economy of post war Italy and is left with little to nothing to survive on after working many years for the government. Throughout the film we are able to see some of the poverty that many of Italians fell victim to. For example there is one scene in which Umberto is in a feeding hall, and has to hide to give some food to his dog or else his dog will not eat. We also see Umberto trying to sell a watch for money, as well as all his other belongings to try and keep up with his rent. The scene in which Umberto is in the hospital, the man who is lying next to him says that “This ward is better than a hotel”. This man tried to use the hospital system to get some free food, because people were hungry during these hard times after the war. We also see the strain of money when Umberto asks other men for money, and all they can do is change the subject or turn around and walk away because they have no money to offer him. The strain of money is the key object that shows the post war Italy’s economy and political state. 

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