Today's film is Umberto D.. It follows the story of a pensioner who is struggling to make ends meet. As the films opens, we see a huge gathering of old people protesting their meager pensions. It seems that Umberto has the worst deal because he has debts that his pay simply can't cover. It is interesting that none of the other people have debts like this. Does Umberto have any kind of savings?
He gets so desperate that he tries to sell off his possessions, like his watch and books. But he doesn't having many possessions to sell. He doesn't even have his own place - he rents out a room at a boarding house. His landlady has increased his rent and now demands back rent too. And she wants it all or nothing. He doesn't have that kind of money.
Umberto doesn't seem to have any family, but he does have his beloved dog, Flike. No matter what happens, Flike is there for him. Umberto goes to the hospital a bit for his sore throat, and his landlady purposefully left the door open so Flike would escape. While Umberto was gone, the landlady took the liberty of redoing his room. The workers not only ripped off most the wallpaper, they did a really bad job. And they left gaping holes in the wall too. These people are worse than my HOA.
So now Flike is gone, but Umberto finds him at the shelter. We witness some more sad scenes such as a petowner that can't afford the fee to release his dog, dooming him to the gas chamber, as well as seeing the dogs being carted to their deaths.
Umberto does have one friend in this world, Maria the housekeeper. She is very young and is now pregnant. So she is at the beginning of her life and starting a new life, while Umberto is nearing the end of his. They both really need to leave the toxic environment of the boarding house in order to have a better life.
Umberto gathers what little money he has and leaves the boarding house. He can't bring himself to beg on the streets, so he contemplates suicide. He tries to leave Flike at a kennel, but is displeased with the poor conditions so he changes his mind. Later, he almost gets hit by a train, which really frightens Flike. He'd rather play with his stick and toys, so the film ends with them playing together. We don't know what else happens to them but we hope they find somewhere to live. The film is mostly a commentary on society forgetting elderly people. Today we have more programs to take care of them, and Adult Protective Services can help those who are truly in need. We have come a long way since the 50's. I will give this film a 7/10.