Monday, March 26, 2018

Roberto Rossellini: 'Paisà" / 'Paisan' (1946)

Roberto Rossellini's Paisà / Paisan (1946), the second of his "War Trilogy," contains six stories set toward the end of the Second World War in Italy, starting from the South and working North.

Pictured above from the second episode is American M.P. Joe (Hylan "Dots" Johnson, 1913-1986) and Italian waif-survivor Pascale (Alfonsino Pasca) in bombed-out Naples. The movie title means "friends" or "countrymen."
Paisà / Paisan is up close and personal, with Germans, Italians, British, and Americans fighting with or against each other, trying to communicate beyond language barriers amid violence or the near aftermath of violence. 
Picking through the devastation of Firenze / Florence, a live battlefield in episode four.  
Episode five of Paisà / Paisan involves the visit to a monastery by a Catholic, a Jewish and a Protestant chaplain, with a bemused mix of appreciation and confusion for hosts and guests.  

The final episode involves the brutality of guerrilla warfare along the River Po, with the Germans still mounting effective resistance. 

Paisà / Paisana free-wheeling ensemble and stark reminder that war is a cemetery for those killed and both a nightmare and a cultural exchange for the survivors.

Today's Rune: Protection. 

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