Two shoeshine boys in postwar Rome, Italy, save up to buy a horse, but their involvement as dupes in a burglary lands them in juvenile prison where the experience take a devastating toll on their friendship.
Vittorio De Sica
Enmeshed with the Italian Campaign during the liberation of Italy between 1943-1944, six distinct but unconnected episodes unfold. Starting off from Sicily, a local girl, Carmela, guides a band of American soldiers through a minefield with devastating results, while in Naples, Pasquale, the orphaned child of war, after stealing the boots of an inebriated African-American G.I., is followed back to his war-battered town. Then, in liberated Rome, the impoverished young prostitute, Francesca, waits for the American soldier who fell in love with six months before, and in Florence, during a battle across Ponte Vecchio, Harriet, a US wartime nurse, risks her life to reunite with her lover. Next, three army chaplains spend the night at a Roman Catholic monastery, however, only one of them is a Catholic. Finally, on the banks of Po River, American OSS officers and Italian Partisans fight the Nazis, after saving two downed English pilots.Written by
Paisan (1946) was the opening film at the First Edinburgh International Festival of Documentary Films (now the Edinburgh Film Festival) in 1947, alongside Georges RouquierFarrebique (1946). See more »
During night a GI lights up his lighter while following the rocky path through the lava canal. A flashlight might have been used in order to help increase the effect of the lighter being lit. When the soldier closes the lighter, the spot projected by the flashlight remains on for a fraction of a second, which is enough to observe the synchronization issue. See more »
Originally premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 8, 1946 in a longer cut (running 134 minutes). Later cut to 125 minutes. The 134 min. cut has been restored from material found at the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv in Berlin, Germany and has premiered at the 55th Venice Film Festival in 1998. See more »
Rossellini: An important figure in the development of the cinema..
Often dismissed as a founder of Italian Neo-Realism whose career degenerated either at the start or the end of his much publicized relationship with Ingrid Bergman, Roberto Rossellini remains one of the most underrated directors in cinema history...
Exploring the links between fiction and documentary, observation and education, and the individual and society, he was an important figure in the development of the cinema...
Rossellini said of the film: 'In Paisá there were two worlds which came into contact, each with a different psychology and mental structure. From this contact was born a great confusion; so much so that in the end there were neither victors nor vanquished, there remained only the everyday heroism of the man who clings to life. And who lives, despite everything, whether he is one of the victors or one of the vanquished.'
Rossellini followed 'Rome Open City' with the equally impressive Paisá, whose six, often barely dramatic stories of part-comic, part tragic encounters between Italians, Germans and liberating Americans were rooted in specific locations (the Po Valley, the Uffizi Gallery), but were universal in their portrait of an entire nation destroyed and divided by war...
Already Rossellini's taste for long, mobile takes in long shot (rather than montage and close-up) gave evidence of his desire to relate individuals to the world around them...
In using a number of non-professional cast, and combining them with his improvisatory techniques, Rossellini get an universally acclaimed human document of rare quality and compassion...
Georges Sadoul wrote that Rossellini had 'damned the horrors that war had brought to his country and his heart cry was emotionally and enthusiastically understood around the entire world.'
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