A chance to live

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Original title A chance to live
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1949
length 18 minutes
Director James L. Shute
script James L. Shute
production Richard de Rochemont
for Time Inc. distributed by Twentieth Century Fox

A Chance to Live (dt. A chance to live ) is an American documentary short film from 1949, in which James L. Shute directed. The documentation is a production by Twentieth Century Fox . The film, produced by Richard de Rochemont for Time Inc. , is part of the The March of Time series. The film opened in theaters on December 23, 1949.

Civitavecchia, view 1795


The focus of the film is Monsignor John Patrick Carroll-Abbing and his commitment to young people. After the Second World War, Carroll-Abbing founded the first boys' institution for street boys in Italy . After boys came from more distant places and it was slowly becoming too cramped in the accommodation, which was initially operated in basement rooms, the ruins of two houses near the sea were made available to the young priest Don Rivolta and Carroll-Abbing in 1945, located between the coastal towns of Santa Marinella and Civitavecchia . Don Rivolta and Carroll-Abbing had previously looked after street children together. Rivolta primarily took on the upbringing and training of the boys, while Carroll-Abbing, as head of the US relief organization "Relief for Italy", a financial aid organization, dealt with the financing to ensure the supply of the boys' institution. The first boys moved in at the end of October 1945. Half a year later, the Swiss aid organization Don Suisse made 25 prefabricated houses available. The boys themselves took care of the furnishings and equipment, supported by the Swiss aid organization. “Tor Marangone”, the name of the boys' house between Civitavecchia and Santa Marinella, was the first of its kind in Italy.

In addition to attending school, at least the older children worked in the fields in the afternoons, made pottery or were active in fishing or in other workshops. The boys were responsible for all work in the house. They also chose one of their own as "mayors" and discussed all problems and needs in daily meetings and decided what to do. Each of them should be entrusted with a responsible task if possible. If one of the boys ran away, he could return at any time without fear of being punished for it. There were severe punishments for certain offenses, but no corporal punishment. The good should pay off, the bad cost something. Work, including attending school, and public office were rewarded in money, and offenses were punished with fines.

When the UN refugee aid expired, Carroll-Abbing traveled to the USA in 1947 and 1949 and solicited donations. There he also founded a support committee for the boys 'republic “Tor Marangone”, which was renamed “Boys' Republic of Civitavecchia”. Furthermore, he founded the Boys' Towns of Italy INC as a support organization for his planned children's villages.

John Patrick Carroll-Abbing

Caroll-Abbing was born in Dublin on August 11, 1912 and grew up in Ireland and England . In 1930 he began studying theology in Rome . The city became his main residence. From Pope Pius XII. he was appointed personal secretary to Cardinal Giuseppe Pizzardo and a short time later appointed monsignor . Carroll Abbing, who died in July 2001, was an important organizer, especially in the social and health sectors. He founded and directed dozens of national and international aid organizations.


For A Chance to Live was Richard De Roche Mont on the Oscar ceremony in 1950 with an Oscar in the category "Best Documentary (Short)" excellent, along with Edward Selzer Short Documentary So Much for So Little .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. A Chance to Live famousfix.com (English)