Rossellini’s realism isn’t any less contrived or manipulative than classical Hollywood styles. ‘Simplicity,’ rather than ‘realism’ might be a more accurate word in this sense. The film still lies, ’24 frames a second.’
But its lie is convincing; Paisan feels much more natural and more ‘real’ than a different war film might have been. We spend our viewing time thinking about the real Italians and Americans, without being distracted from the on-screen drama.
Paisan is more engaging than your average piece of Italian realism. I had planned to watch the 6 different episodic stories in different sittings, but I ended up staying through the whole DVD.
I'm a journalist and film enthusiast who lives in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas. I've been writing about movies for 15 years and I hosted a weekly movie review television show on UATV for two years.