Screening on Film
Recently Restored
Directed by Roberto Rossellini.
With Carmela Sazio, Dots M. Johnson, Maria Michi.
Italy, 1946, 35mm, color, 134 min.
Italian, English and German with English subtitles.
Print source: Museum of Modern Art

The middle film in Rossellini's famous "war trilogy" – between Open City and Germany Year ZeroPaisà is not a film about the events of the Risorgimento, but instead a series of sequences from the lives of everyday Italians, both civilians and antifascist partisans, during the fight for the liberation of Italy by the Allied armies in 1943 and 1944. Starting in the south and moving north, the episodes follow the armies as they traverse the different regions – depicting tales of everyday heroism, a kind of neorealist "history from below." Framed by a map of Italy whose pieces are illuminated one by one, the stories express a hope that fascism's authoritarian hierarchies would be replaced with a pluralist Italy which acknowledged and celebrated regional differences.

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