The Tree of Wooden Clogs
Four peasant families working farms for the same landlord scrape out a meagre existence in 1898 in the countryside around Bergamo. Over the course of a year, children are born, crops are planted, animals are slaughtered, couples are married, stories and prayers are exchanged in the families' shared farmhouse. Undercurrents of revolution are seen by the peasants but largely ignored, as a communist rabble-rouser gives a speech at a local fair and when a newlywed couple visit the big city of Milan and witness the arrest of political prisoners.
One of the families has a very clever child. They decide to send him to school instead of make him help them, although this represents a great sacrifice. The boy has to wake up very early and walk several miles to get to the school. One day the boy's shoes break when returning home, but they do not have money to buy another pair. What can they do?