Live Ideas: Vittorio De Sica’s Miracle In Milan

Based on a novel by Cesare Zavattini, Miracle in Milan is De Sica’s 1951 follow-up to his earlier film The Bicycle Thief. A René Clair-inspired social fantasy, the film depicts a fight between a troop of shantytown poor and the industrialist, eager to explore for oil beneath their village. The revolutionaries are led by a young visionary named Toto, armed with enthusiasm and a magic dove. De Sica’s film—both humanist and wistful—unfolds with an underlying discourse surrounding social ills and how they should be rectified.