The Way of Hope

Impoverished Sicilian miners and their families journey to France in search of work in this 1950 Italian film. Director Pietro Germi, apparently influenced by neorealism and John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath, pays powerful tribute to the perseverance of the desperate. In the opening scene low shots ennoble the miners as they refuse to leave their mine, which is about to close, and the scenes of the somewhat bewildered group trying to navigate an unfamiliar Rome are equally impressive. But the film is something of a pastiche, Germi maintaining an observational camera at some points and at others cutting to synthetic reaction shots. Federico Fellini coscripted. 105 min.

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