To avoid the police after a heist, thieves Francesca and Walter hide among a bunch of seasonal workers in a rice field in the northern Italian countryside. There they meet the worker Silvana and Marco, a soldier who is trying to woo her. A conflict has broken out between different fractions of the workers, and Francesca and Walter try to take advantage of the situation in order to make new plans. Director Giuseppe De Santis is considered one of the chief representatives of Italian neo-realism, and his films often depicts the socialist labor movement. Bitter rice was nominated for an Oscar for Best writing in 1951.