Le Notti di Cabiria
(Nights of Cabiria
), set in post-WWII Rome, is a 1957 Federico Fellini
film focusing on loss of innocence
and the human spirit
The main character, Cabiria, played by Fellini's wife Giulietta Masina, is a naive and proud prostitute who continually gets duped in her search for love. Cabiria is mostly cautious, but easily gives in to seemingly sincere persistence.
Early in the film, her boyfriend of a couple of months takes her to an overlook then suddenly steals her purse and pushes her into a river to drown. Next she meets a big movie star who just broke up with his girlfriend and invites her into his home for dinner and for the evening. Unexpectedly, the girlfriend returns and reconciles with him as Cabiria hides and waits hungry in his bathroom until morning. She then attends a pilgrimage to Lady Madonna with her prostitute friends which raises her spirits and improves her outlook. Later on however, a young man asks Cabiria to marry him, only to attempt to steal her life savings. While the movie ends soonafter, it is safe to assume that Cabiria is not completely broken.