• Italy, Estonia
  • 1946
  • 120 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.33:1
  • English, German, Italian
  •  
  • Spine #498

Roberto Rossellini’s follow-up to his breakout Rome Open City was the ambitious, enormously moving Paisan (Paisà), which consists of six episodes set during the liberation of Italy at the end of World War II, and taking place across the country, from Sicily to the northern Po Valley. With its documentary-like visuals and its intermingled cast of actors and nonprofessionals, Italians and their American liberators, this look at the struggles of different cultures to communicate and of people to live their everyday lives in extreme circumstances is equal parts charming sentiment and vivid reality. A long-missing treasure of Italian cinema, Paisan is available here for the first time in its full original release version.

Cast

CarmelaCarmela Sazio
Joe (first episode)Robert Van Loon
Joe (second episode)Dots M. Johnson
FrancescaMaria Michi
FredGar Moore
HarrietHarriet White
MassimoRenzo Avanzo
Captain Bill MartinBill Tubbs
The friar guardianFather Vincenzo Carrella
DaleDale Edmonds

Disc Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Video introduction by Roberto Rossellini from 1963
  • New video interview with Rossellini scholar Adriano Aprà
  • Excerpts from rarely seen videotaped discussions Rossellini had in 1970 with faculty and students at Rice University about his craft
  • Into the Future, a new visual essay about the War Trilogy by film scholar Tag Gallagher
  • New and improved English subtitle translations

Film Essays

Paisan: More Real Than Real

By Colin MacCabe January 26, 2010

Roberto Rossellini’s second postwar film was released in the United States as Paisan, and one can understand why the distributors wanted to use a title familiar to many Americans as meaning “ . . . Read more »

Big Screen

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Alfred Hayes, Screenwriter

By A. S. Hamrah September 17, 2013

The author sheds some light on the fascinating life of the American scriptwriter behind Roberto Rossellini’s Paisan. Read more »


The Art of War

October 19, 2011

For designer Jason Hardy, the box set Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy was a daunting assignment. As he tells us in an engrossing and in-depth blog post, creating the covers for these three . . . Read more »


Posters

Red Dawn

May 06, 2011

Paisan poster, Polish release, 1957. Photo courtesy of Posteritati. Read more »


Press Notes

Press Notes: 2010—One Last Look

January 03, 2011

Before we put 2010 to bed, we thought we’d catch up with all the year-end lists that have sprung up over the past week or so. A good place to start is DVD Beaver’s annual poll, which ranks the . . . Read more »


Clippings

The Trilogy According to John Bailey

June 07, 2010

We’ve drawn your attention before to award-winning DP John Bailey’s informative, entertaining blog on the American Society of Cinematographers website, in particularhis in-depth introduction to . . . Read more »


Press Notes

Press Notes: Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy

February 01, 2010

The critics agree that Criterion’s release of Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy, featuring major restorations of the unassailable landmarks of Italian cinema Rome Open City, Paisan, and Germany . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Paisan: More Real Than Real

By Colin MacCabe January 26, 2010

Roberto Rossellini’s second postwar film was released in the United States as Paisan, and one can understand why the distributors wanted to use a title familiar to many Americans as meaning “ . . . Read more »