Mario is in Hannover to work as a miner but after loosing his job he decides to go back to Italy. When Totonno steals his passport to avoid the police and later on he offers him a new job as “magliaro” (cloth seller), Mario changes his mind and decides to follow Totonno to Hamburg. In Hamburg, Totonno and his friends have to sell Mayer’s cloth but they meet with the hostility of a Polish gang and Mario falls in love with Paula Mayer.
In Rosi’s film I magliari (The Weavers, sometimes known as The Swindlers, 1959) the Southern Problem is articulated through the theme of emigration. The film is, in fact, both set and shot entirely in Germany where a motley group of Italian immigrants try to make their fortune by engaging in a series of organised scams that appear to revolve around the sale of poor quality textiles to Germans at inflated prices. Although the latter part of the film develops into something of a love story between the rather good-hearted young Tuscan emigrant, Mario (Renato Salvatore), and Paola (Belinda Lee), the wife of the German boss, much of the film focuses on male groups exercising, challenging and negotiating power in a desperate effort to secure spoils and territory.