Although the drug cocaine is present in this film, the Crack this movie is about is, metaphorically, the crack in society which all the protagonists inhabit in a rundown neighborhood in Rome. Rodolfo has the best chance of any of them to work his way out of the degradation which seems normal here, as he is a student and a rising light in the boxing world. His life takes a downturn when he is told by his supposed girlfriend that "It's the boxing or me. Decide." In fact, he is the only serious rival for Michele, a coke-sniffing former professional boxer who wants to make a comeback, and Rodolfo's supposed girlfriend is actually Michele's lady-love. He put her up to making the ultimatum so as to give his career a better chance. Rodolfo's brother, meanwhile, hears a conversation between the two which gives the whole story away, and, enraged, he rapes the girl in the changing room at the gym. When Rodolfo comes looking for her and finds this happening, the die is cast for a violent conclusion to the film.
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