Blog Challenge #2

In the film Umberto D the historical and political context of war can be found throughout the film and where it is most noted perhaps is through the film’s use of mise-en-scene. Throughout the film war is one of the big issues other than poverty that affects Italy and it is evident in the film’s use of mise-en-scene. Throughout the film there are many signs of postwar struggle in the film’s setting because througho0ut the film we see many rundown buildings and poor neighborhoods and many poverty stricken people struggling to survive postwar. The effects of postwar can be most notably seen in the film’s main character Umberto D who has to struggle to pay his rent and support himself and his dog Flike. But no matter the circumstances, Umberto is a man of dignity and refuses to accept his situation and rely on others to help him with his issues. Even though poverty has affected his life gravely to the point where he struggles to find a placed to sleep, he refuses to beg people for money and rather be homeless which says a lot about his sense of pride. So the effects of war is evident both in the film’s plot as well as its overall progression and it is most evident in the scene where Umberto has to sleep with a hole in his wall which shows just how dire his situation had become and just how much war has affected his life. The war not only affected Umberto physically but emotionally as well because he realizes just how dire his situation has become and decides the only way to get out of it is through suicide and he was willing to take his dog and only friend Flike with him. But at the end of the day Flike is all Umberto really needs and it is all he had at the end and in a way his dog was the light shining at the end of the tunnel for him because the dog was the only thing that kept him strong though his time of greatest need. As for the political implications of the war, it can be seen in the opening scene where guards are breaking up a protest and refuse to listen to the people. The government apparently doesn’t care about the people’s problems which in a way was what the director was trying to show through the film. Apparently that is how he felt about the Italian Government in real life and he tried to use the film to show how little the government tried to help its citizens and how bad their situation had become.

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2 Comments so far

  1.   Raaj Mangroo on October 14th, 2011

    I like how you make a connection on a very small lever talking about people struggling during this time and then make a very larger connection talking about government.

  2.   Kaitlin Stevens on October 21st, 2011

    Judging by this post I assume you had a very clear understanding of this film. I liked how you noted that the effects of war are both evident in the film’s overall progression and in certain scenes such as the one you describe. I also liked how you said that the government doesn’t care about the problems and assumed it was what the director was trying to show throughout the film, I would definitely agree with that statement

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