Synopsis by Aubry Anne D'Arminio
A self-described son of neorealism, director Gianni Amelio utilized non-professional actors, authentic locations, and unadorned filmmaking techniques to create this honest, uncompromising look at modern Italy and its faltering human relations. Il Ladro di Bambini (The Stolen Children) begins in Milan, where Sicilian siblings Rosetta (Valentina Scalici), 11, and Luciano (Giuseppe Ieracitano), nine, live with their destitute mother. The woman regularly prostitutes Rosetta and is arrested; her children are immediately made wards of the court. Carabiniere Antonio Criaco (Enrico Lo Verso) is assigned to escort them to a foster home in a mission that appears to be simple. Yet, years of abuse forbid the siblings to trust, obey, or even like Antonio. Rosetta is hostile and demanding; Luciano is sullen and remote. When the Catholic foster home will not accept the children on the grounds of Rosetta's past, Antonio independently decides to bring them south to a home in Sicily. The three begin on a road trip during which their relationship grows and Antonio -- the epitome of hope and grace -- attempts to give the children a normal, loving experience by temporarily stealing them from their uncertain future.
child-abuse, orphan, neglect, prostitute/prostitution, escort, emotional-problems