Here’s a famous Italian classic from the Vatican’s 1995 list of great films.
In post-World War II Rome, Antonio is struggling to find work to support his family. He finds a job putting up ad posters around the city, but the work comes to an abrupt end when his bicycle, vital for the job, is stolen.
And so Antonio and his young son set out in search of the bike, which proves difficult. The police are of little help, and even tracking down the thief doesn’t help. Antonio wants to be a good role model for his son, but is continually driven further into despair.
The film, which tries to portray the drama as real and natural as it can, explores how fear and desperation can frame the way we see the world and can easily lead to temptations. As the audience, we’re also invited to consider the situation through the eyes of Antonio’s child, who’s likely witnessing sides of his father that he’s never seen before; what might he be learning and how will it affect him?
The film is not rated in the US, but would likely be PG. However, the more drama-driven story and the need to read subtitles may disinterest younger viewers.