Shoeshine (1946) is an Italian neorealist film directed by Vittorio De Sica. It tells the story of two young boys, Giuseppe and Pasquale, who are trying to make a living by shining shoes in post-war Rome. The film is widely considered to be one of the most important films of the neorealist movement and is often cited as an example of how the genre can be used to explore social issues.
One of the most notable aspects of Shoeshine is its exploration of sexuality. The film features several moments that hint at the boys’ burgeoning sexuality. In one scene, Giuseppe and Pasquale are seen admiring a woman’s legs as she walks by. Later, the boys are seen playing a game of “kissing” in which they take turns kissing each other on the cheek. These moments are subtle but powerful, as they hint at the boys’ growing awareness of their own sexuality.
The film also features a scene in which Giuseppe and Pasquale are seen in a brothel. The scene is brief but powerful, as it serves to illustrate the harsh realities of life in post-war Italy. The boys’ presence in the brothel serves to highlight the desperation of their situation and the lengths they are willing to go to in order to make a living.
Overall, Shoeshine is a powerful exploration of sexuality and the harsh realities of life in post-war Italy. The film’s subtle yet powerful moments of sexuality serve to illustrate the boys’ growing awareness of their own sexuality and the desperate situation they find themselves in. Shoeshine is a must-see for anyone interested in the neorealist movement and its exploration of social issues.
There is a scene in which a line of boys in a group home run under cold water in a shower room. The camera eventually focuses on one boy of around 11-12 as he turns away from his shower, exposing his prepubescent genitals. Full nudity is shown, but it is not at all sexual. Bare butts is shown.