Inspired by a newspaper article about a woman who prostituted her eight-year-old daughter, this rigorous, immensely affecting portrait of a pair of emotionally damaged children marks an entirely successful revival of Italian neo-realist filmmaking.
In a Milan slum, a woman (Maria Pia Di Giovanni) is arrested for prostituting her eleven-year-old daughter Rosetta (Valentina Scalici). Emotionally stunted Antonio (Enrico Lo Verso), a shy, 25-year-old carabiniere, and his partner Grigani (Fabio Alessandrini) are ordered to deliver the sullen,
rebellious Rosetta and her brother Luciano (Giuseppe Ieracitano) to a Catholic orphanage in northern Italy. Grigani ab...