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Miracle In Milan

(Italian 1951 b 95')

En: 6 Ed: 7

Written by Cesare Zavattini, an orphan with his positive spirit and an angel helps the homeless survive and withstand police repression.

         Lolotta (Emma Gramatica) finds a baby in her cabbage patch. A few years later the boy sees she is ill. He follows the funeral wagon and is taken to an orphanage.

         About ten years later Toto (Francesco Golisano) leaves the orphanage and asks for a job. He follows Alfredo (Arturo Bragaglia), who took his valise, and gives it to him. Alfredo lets Toto sleep in his shelter in the snow. Men congregate in the sunshine. Toto plays with little Angelina and protects her from the wind. Toto sympathizes with people.

         Two men fight over a statue, and Toto intervenes. He saves Arturo from being hit by a train. Toto assigns huts to new people. Edvige (Brunella Bovo) throws water on Toto, who says he likes it.

         Men arrive in cars with fine hats. Two haggle on the price of the land. The new owner Mobbi (Guglielmo Barnabo) lets people stay in their huts and is cheered as he leaves. People sing that they believe in tomorrow. Toto has Edvige draw a number in a lottery for a chicken. The winner eats the chicken. A woman sells tickets to watch the sun set.

         A hole is dug and becomes a fountain. One is oil and catches on fire. Rappi (Paolo Stoppa) leaves to find Mobbi and comes back with a fine hat. Men arrive and say everyone must leave because it is Mobbi’s property. The man who announced that runs from them, and Toto says they will go see Mobbi. The delegation is served tea. They sing their song and go back.

         Police are making people leave. Toto and others take up sticks, and the police retreat. Mobbi arrives and throws a smoke bomb. Toto climbs up the pole and waves a white flag. The spirit of Lolotta gives Toto a magical white dove. Toto leads people back. Police use fire hoses, but they put up umbrellas. Mobbi orders the police to charge, but their leaders sing. Rappi loses his hat and is called a spy. He sees hats on all and runs away.

         People ask Toto for things and get them. He tells Edvige that his mother does everything. A policeman asks to be a general. The statue becomes a living woman who dances. Toto asks Edvige if she wants the moon. She asks for shoes but gets only one. They look for the dove.

         Toto finds Edvige crying and kisses her. They are happy, and the sun rises. Police invade and make people leave. Edvige finds the dove, and Toto is arrested. He sees Edvige and Lolotta. Toto takes a broom and flies with Edvige. Others take brooms and fly. They sing of a better tomorrow.

         This spiritual fantasy portrays the homeless in post-war Italy and shows by using allegorical symbolism how having positive attitudes can help even during distress.

Copyright © 2007 by Sanderson Beck

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