Due soldi di speranzai is principally notable for including maybe the only, in any case one of the very few genuine and bona fide female heroine roles. It's just grand, not to mention quite how rare, to have a female hero, credibly rather than conventionally, truly and properly there, altogether and all there.
The film further further benefits from the presence of Maria Fiore, the seventeen year old debutante that fills (and in places stretchesii) this role of a fifteen year old true human who happens to have been born female, but to no detriment and indiscutably just as human as ever could be.
Otherwise there's always the perennial documentary value of these things, leftovers of many decades hence, made at a time when, while just as dead, nevertheless the impression of life was close enough still to reproduce, to immitate, to credibly describe. So, quite just so is how it worked, being young, being poor, being from there, being in love, being indigent young women and young men in love. Just so it works, and it'd have to, the interplay of sense and sensibility thus whips flesh and whiplashes all reason, it's there, well captured, correctly taxidermied -- you're more than welcome to follow its cuts and workings, anatomy and physiology ; and in so following derive the usual benefit of learning : understanding.
I do not believe one's claims to living can be entertained seriously who's not seen Due soldi di speranza. They may perhaps be alive, I've no argument there ; but living's quite a different thing altogether.———
- 1952, by Renato Castellani, with Maria Fiore, Vincenzo Musolino. [↩]
- No tits on her more than on last week's chickens, no ass on her more than on any pine of your choice -- and yet she fills, and she stretches. In the immortal words of an excellent celluloid psychopath, "you've got a lot of heart, kid!". She does, and it stretches everything around her to fit. [↩]