A heartbreaking venture which called forward the neorealist film movement wherein De Sica became a celebrated figure. Shoeshine at once defines the genre while proffering De Sica with the tools and ideas to be reworked in his later neorealist masterpieces Bicycle Thieves and Umberto D, perhaps the two best examples of the specific post war movement. 89/100 - Excellent. (4.5)
De Sica implacable como el posterior Rossellini en "Alemania año cero". Dos niños son protagonistas de una historia que, al igual que "El ladrón de bicicletas", posee un aire optimista que se disipa a propósito de un giro inesperado. Entonces los héroes serán víctimas de todo un calvario. Los sueños se frustran al igual que sus deseos sobrellevar sus dramas. De Sica reflexiona que esto es real estadísticamente.
None of these enthusiastic opinions you can see below is overdone. It really is a great film and a shining neorealistic example. I hazard an opinion it is a way more powerful film than Rossellini's 'Rome, Open City'. This line stuck in my mind so I'll put it here: "In here they feed us, they shelter us, they give us clothes, and they even entertain us. What else could we want? This is paradise!"
An all around tragedy, from the poverty on the streets, to the adult criminals who take advantage of the children, to the adult jailers who care for not much else than maintaining their order and not being punished by their superiors, to the strife being in prison brings, until it comes full circle when you decide to further the momentum of the cycle.