Roberto Rossellini is one of the most influential filmmakers of all time. And it was with his trilogy of films made during and after World War II—Rome Open City, Paisan, and Germany Year Zero—that he left his first transformative mark on cinema. With their stripped-down aesthetic, largely nonprofessional casts, and unorthodox approaches to storytelling, these intensely emotional works were international sensations and came to define the neorealist movement. Shot in battle-ravaged Italy and Germany, these three films are some of our most lasting, humane documents of devastated postwar Europe, containing universal images of both tragedy and hope.
Collector’s Set Includes
ROME OPEN CITY
Roberto Rossellini - 1945
This was Roberto Rossellini’s revelation, a harrowing drama about the Nazi occupation of Rome and the brave few who struggled against it. Rome Open City is a shockingly authentic experience, conceived and directed amid the ruin of World War II.
Roberto Rossellini - 1946
Roberto Rossellini’s follow-up to his breakout Rome Open City was the ambitious, enormously moving Paisan, which 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.
GERMANY YEAR ZERO
Roberto Rossellini - 1948
The concluding chapter of Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy is the most devastating, a portrait of an obliterated Berlin shown through the eyes of a twelve-year-old boy.
SPECIAL EDITION THREE-DISC SET:
New high-definition digital restorations, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks
Introductions by director Roberto Rossellini from 1963
Interviews from 2009 with scholar Adriano Aprà, critic and Rossellini friend Father Virgilio Fantuzzi, and filmmakers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
Audio commentary on Rome Open City by scholar Peter Bondanella
Once Upon a Time . . . “Rome Open City,” a 2006 documentary on the making of the historic film
Rossellini and the City, a 2009 video essay by film scholar Mark Shiel on Rossellini’s use of the urban landscape in The War Trilogy
Excerpts from discussions Rossellini had in 1970 with faculty and students at Rice University about his craft
Into the Future, a 2009 video essay about The War Trilogy by scholar Tag Gallagher
Roberto Rossellini, a 2001 documentary by Carlo Lizzani, assistant director on Germany Year Zero, tracing Rossellini’s career through archival footage and interviews with family members and collaborators, with tributes by filmmakers François Truffaut and Martin Scorsese
Letters from the Front: Carlo Lizzani on “Germany Year Zero,” a discussion with Lizzani from the 1987 Tutto Rossellini conference
Italian credits and prologue for Germany Year Zero
Roberto and Roswitha, a 2009 illustrated essay by scholar Thomas Meder on Rossellini’s relationship with Roswitha Schmidt
PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by James Quandt, Irene Bignardi, Colin MacCabe, and Jonathan Rosenbaum
Genre: Drama-Classics, Foreign-Italian
Run Time: 302 minutes