Paisan

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.

Film Info

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

Special 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

Available In

Collector's Set

Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy

Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy

Blu-Ray Box Set

3 Discs

$79.96

Collector's Set

Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy

Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy

DVD Box Set

3 Discs

$63.96

Out Of Print

Special 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
Paisan
Cast
Carmela Sazio
Carmela
Robert Van Loon
Joe (first episode)
Dots M. Johnson
Joe (second episode)
Alfonsino Bovino
Pasquale
Maria Michi
Francesca
Gar Moore
Fred
Harriet White
Harriet
Renzo Avanzo
Massimo
Bill Tubbs
Captain Bill Martin
Father Vincenzo Carrella
Friar guardian
Captain Owen Jones
Protestant chaplain
Sergeant Elmer Feldman
Jewish chaplain
Dale Edmonds
Dale
Achille Siviero
Cigolani
Roberto Van Loel
German officer
Credits
Director
Roberto Rossellini
Story by
Sergio Amidei
with the collaboration of
Federico Fellini
with the collaboration of
Rod Geiger
with the collaboration of
Alfred Hayes
with the collaboration of
Klaus Mann
with the collaboration of
Marcello Pagliero
with the collaboration of
Roberto Rossellini
Produced by
Roberto Rossellini
with the participation of
Rod Geiger
Photographed by
Otello Martelli
Sound by
Ovidio Del Grande
Music by
Renzo Rossellini
Editor
Eraldo Da Roma
Assistant directors
Massimo Mida
Assistant directors
Federico Fellini

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Roberto Rossellini

Producer, Director

Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini

A founder of Italian neorealism, Roberto Rossellini brought to filmmaking a documentary-like authenticity and a philosophical stringency. After making films under Mussolini’s fascist regime early in his career, Rossellini broke out with Rome Open City, a shattering and vivid chronicle of the Nazi occupation of Italy’s capital, followed by Paisan and Germany Year Zero, which round out his “war trilogy.” Rossellini’s adulterous affair with Ingrid Bergman led to the biggest controversy of his career (they were both condemned by the United States Senate) but also to another trilogy—Stromboli, Europa ’51, and Voyage to Italy, all starring Bergman and all about spiritual crises; they were dismissed at the time of their release but are widely praised now. Through the 1950s, Rossellini experimented with different forms, offering an ascetic religious film (The Flowers of St. Francis), a documentary about India (India), and a wartime melodrama that was one of his biggest hits (Il Generale Della Rovere). In the final phase of his career, after calling a news conference and announcing, “Cinema is dead,” Rossellini turned to historical television dramas about major subjects and figures (Louis XIV, Blaise Pascal, Descartes, the Medicis), made with a rational, almost scientific approach. As always, he yearned to show life’s minutiae unadorned, bare and pure. Echoes of Rossellini’s approach to filmmaking are still felt in movements around the world, from China to Iran to South America to the United States. It’s fair to say modern cinema wouldn’t exist as we know it without him.