During World War II, Italian widow Cesira (Sophia Loren) must leave Rome with her devout daughter when the city comes under attack by Allied forces. The pair flee to a small village, where they meet -- and both fall for -- the charming Michele (Jean-Paul Belmondo). But the war uproots the life of mother and daughter once again when soldiers attack the duo and subject them to sexual assault. Their bond is strained as they struggle to overcome the tragedy that changes them both forever.
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