Roof, The; Il Tetto

2700. IL TETTO (The Roof) (1956-Italy). Directed by VITTORIO DE SICA. This trenchant and compassionate drama from the great Italian neorealist director Vittorio De Sica follows the plight of a nice, but poor young couple who want nothing more of life than the chance to live simply and peacefully under their own roof. They are Natale and Luisa, and they get married as the story opens. These newlyweds have neither the time nor the resources to enjoy a honeymoon, indeed, they are so impoverished that they have had to rent a wedding dress that must be returned that very evening. However, Natale and Luisa’s troubles transcend mere lack of money. Luisa’s father is a stubborn man who refuses to accept her marriage. Her mother bluntly asks how much Natale earns. He is employed as an apprentice bricklayer, and his salary isn’t very much. “When a child comes, you’re sunk,” the mother cheerlessly informs them. As they cannot afford to rent their own apartment, Natale and Luisa move in with his family. “We’re crowded but we don’t mind,” he observes. Still, the quarters are hopelessly cramped, and the young lovers have not the slightest bit of privacy. How will this affect their marriage? Will they ever be able to find (let alone afford) their own living quarters? The film is sweet and tender as it depicts the simple and loving relationship between the newlyweds. It also is vividly realistic as it portrays their race-against-time struggle to have what every young couple deserves. You will be touched and moved by their story. De Sica shot a portion of the film on location in a typical post-World War II squatters’ colony where many Romans shared the same real-life predicament as Luisa and Natale. In Italian with English subtitles. 94 minutes. Drama