I’m fond of fools so I’ve decided to blog about my top ten fools. One a day. Simpletons whose pursuit of unreachable goals provokes heart-wrenching sorrow. Like Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina) in Fellini’s 1954 film, La Strada. Gelsomina is a half-wit, sold by her mother to Zampano, a strolling player, a gypsy.
Mother: Take care of her…
Zampano: Sure — I even teach dogs.
Gelsomina is carted off by Zampano (Anthony Quinn) in his motorcycled-pulled caravan. When he performs before small crowds of villagers, he breaks the chains wrapped around his chest by expanding his lungs. Gelsomina assists him by beating on a drum, her round eyes and adoring face more compelling than his brute strength. As the film progresses the viewer becomes increasingly certain that Gelsomina is too simple, too lacking in anything but love, to survive.