• Italy, Estonia
  • 1946
  • 126 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.37:1
  • English, German, Italian
  •  
  • Spine #498

Roberto Rossellini’s follow-up to his breakout Rome Open City was the ambitious, enormously moving Paisan, 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 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 in its full original release version.

Cast

CarmelaCarmela Sazio
Joe (first episode)Robert Van Loon
Joe (second episode)Dots M. Johnson
PasqualeAlfonsino Bovino
FrancescaMaria Michi
FredGar Moore
HarrietHarriet White
MassimoRenzo Avanzo
Captain Bill MartinBill Tubbs
Friar guardianFather Vincenzo Carrella
Protestant chaplainCaptain Owen Jones
Jewish chaplainSergeant Elmer Feldman
DaleDale Edmonds
CigolaniAchille Siviero
German officerRoberto Van Loel

Credits

Disc Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction by director Roberto Rossellini from 1963
  • Interview from 2009 with Rossellini scholar Adriano Aprà
  • Excerpts from discussions Rossellini had in 1970 with faculty and students at Rice University about his craft
  • Into the Future, a 2009 video essay about The War Trilogy by film scholar Tag Gallagher

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 »

Video

Germanyyearzero_thumbnail

What Roberto Rossellini Taught the Taviani Brothers

July 12, 2017

In this interview from our box-set edition of Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani recount their experience discovering these masterful depictions of World War II. Read more »


Clippings

Rossellini_thumbnail

From the Rossellini Archives

May 08, 2017

With his mix of documentary-like immediacy and profound moral inquiry, Roberto Rossellini became a pioneer of Italian neorealism, a movement that transformed the way filmmakers captured the . . . Read more »


Big Screen

Paisan_thumbnail

Repertory Pick: Rossellini in Indiana

February 23, 2017

The Indiana University Cinema will screen Roberto Rossellini’s 1946 film Paisan on 35 mm this Saturday as part of its ongoing series of twentieth-century masterworks, City Lights. This unsparing . . . 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 »

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