AUDIOVISUALCY: Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies

Paisá directed in 1946 by Roberto Rossellini is, in my most humble opinion, one of the greatest films ever made. After watching neo realist films I often wonder how different American movies would have been then and now, had WWII been fought on US soil. I’m not saying Best Years of Our Lives (released the same year) isn’t good, but it’s certainly no Paisá.

Paisá is the second film in Rossellini’s “War trilogy”, films made during and after the war (preceded by Open City, followed by Germany Year Zero). Though Open City is generally more critically acclaimed, I find Paisá to be more moving.

The film consists of six episodes set during the liberation of Italy at the end of WWII.Though all the episodes are powerfully moving, I shall focus on the second, for it is in this episode that I saw something I had never seen before in a European movie from the 40s-50s. Something I had rarely seen in any Hollywood movies of the same era.

It was a black man. An American black man.

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