The main theme that we see so far in the movie 1900 by director Bernardo Bertolucci is that slowly and slowly the old way of life is dieing. We are shown the brith of Alfredo who is the grandson of the rich landowner and of Olmo who is the son of the peasants who work for the landowner. Back in those days the landowner and the peasants live together well and we see this when the landowner and the peasant celebrate the brith of their children and he brings out champagne for each of the working peasants.
They drink together on the field. At the same time the birth of the children represents the ading away of the old way of life. Years have passed by and now the children are about 10 years old, Alfredo’s grandfather is no longer in charge of the land. Giovanni is the new landowner and he does not respect the old ways in which business was handeled. He tells the peasants that in that year only there is only half the crops so he is going to pay them at only half the weiger.
To the peasants it doesn’t matter how much they get paid as long as they can support the family since back in the day when there was twice the crop they were not paid twice the waiger. This shows us the old ways of life are fading away. The old way of life which is the grandfather and Alfredo, and the new way of life which is Giovanni do not like eachother. This is proven at a family dinner when the grandfather calls Alfredo in another room. Alfredo and his grandfather take guns and they pretend to be shooting their own family members from the other room.
Also we see Afredo running away to the barns and then Giovanni goes after him and starts calling him but Alfredo does not answer. This shows us that Alfredo does not want to deal with Giovanni. Another indication that the old way is dieing is when the grandfather goes to the barn and e tells the girl to put her hand in his pants, he’s not able to have a hard on anymore. In the next part of Bernardo Bertolucci’s film “1900” we see more and more the messages that Bertolucci is trying to pass on to the viewer.
At this point in time we are shown a scene where Olmo is not around but Alfredo wants to be able to lay down on the railroad tracks and let the train pass over him in the hopes that he can redeem himself to Olmo. He accomplishes this task, in wanting to prove that he is not afraid. The train is full of kids going to school in town to learn about communism. Alfredo is representant of the capitalists and the message behind this all is that the train that is filled with communists will fight to take down the capitalists.
Another example of communists trying to take down the capitalist system is when the landlord wants to kick out the peasants and he gets the police involved. The women lie down on the road in the hope they will have a roof over their heads for one more night. The police represent the capitalists and the women represent the communists. It shows that the capitalists are not strong enough to get rid of the communists. It also tells us the communists are ready for a revolution and they are not willing to give up.
Another thing we see in the movie is the comparison between Olmo and Alfredo representing the battle between evil and good. When the school where Anita teaches is set on fire Olmo rushes to help out as other people do so as well but Alfredo stays back and tries to seduce Ada and tries to have sex with her. We also see when Alfredo pays a woman to have sex with both the men. Alfredo even corrupts the girl and gets her to drink and he doesn’t listen when she tells him that it’s not good for her to drink. Both men witness the woman having a seizure.
As soon as that happens Alfredo doesn’t know how to get out of there faster while Olmo wants to stay and see to it that the woman gets well. We see Olmo talking to Anita and we see on his face that he is a little uncomfortable about the fact that he cheated on her, on the other hand when Alfredo talks to Ada we see no remorse on his face. In the last part of the film “1900” Bertolucci lays it all out for the audience to see what it was to live in Italy back in the old days. One of the shocking scences was when Attila kills the boy. Attila represents the capitalist and the boy represents the new generation of Comunists.
The scene is symbolic of the fact that the capitalists will stop at nothing to make sure they don’t lose control of power and to make a statement to the new generation in trying to tell them that if they try to cause a revolution the capitalists will tyr and kill them. Another disturbing scence is when Attila is in the rain with everybody in the courtyard. Attila representing the capitalists and the peasants representing the coummnists. We see how Attila will stop at nothing to try to bring fear into the poor peasants by killing them in cold blood.
We also see the peasants trying to fight for what they believe in and they will not stop at any cost to make sure that they are treated right. We see Attila comiting all those crimes which are symbolic to the fact that the people that he kills stand a threat in the way of capitalism and there is no other way but to disppose of them. The capitalists want to have order and control if not they will get rid of you. Towards the end of the movie we have Alfredo the landowner giving up because he can’t take it anymore.
His wife Ada left him because she told him he was just like the rest of the landowners before him. It symbolizes that the comunists have won the battle and that the capitalists have been taken down. We are also shown that Attila is being chased down and it makes relevance to a exact scene earlier in the movie as to tell us that the capitalists have been taken down and freedom is ahead. We are shown this again when we see Olmo chasing down Alfredo through the fields while peasants are working away in freedom and they way that they chase eachother makes reference to when they were kids and everything was good.