Director Roberto Rossellini’s follow-up to “Rome Open City,” the film consists of six episodes set during the liberation of Italy at the end of World War II and taking place across the country, from Sicily to the northern Po Valley. A story is told of people an cultures formerly united in aim and locked in struggle, but too far separated culturally and historically to discover their common humanity.
“‘Paisan’ is not only the fullest indication of the neorealist style but it is the most complete communication of the disillusion and emptiness, the death of hope, the sense of letdown and utter frustration that come out of the end of war,” the New York Times said of the film, calling it “the greatest of the immediate postwar films.”
It was awarded the Grand Prix at Cannes and first prize at the Venice and Brussels film festivals.
Presented by the Missouri Southern Film Society and the Institute of International Studies, admission is free and open to the public. The series will continue on March 24 with the 1925 French film “Poil de Carotte (Carrot Top).”