La Strada (The Road)

Federico Fellini

This 1954 film leaves a deep impression with its story and magnificent characters played by Anthony Quinn and Giuletta Masina (Fellini's wife). The wave of Neo-realism that washed over Europe during this time is reflected in the film but Fellini goes further and creates a lyrical love story hardened by the hardships of ordinary folk in post-war Italy. A young woman named Gelsomina is sold to Zampano, a travelling vaudeville actor as payment for her dead sister's debts. She learns the tricks of his trade the hard way. She passively endures the pain until she meets another actor. She almost elopes with him but returns when Zampano's actions make her suspect that he loves her. A must-see for all film buffs.