(it) wrote: Es una gran historia aunque no muy bien llevada por los realizadores. An as es una permanente sorpresa, una vuelta por lo desconocido para casi todos. Pudo ser mejor es verdad, y hay evidentemente escenas que sobran, pero la sola intencin vale la pena.
(ru) wrote: Roberto Rossellini was the most influential post-war Italian director. As the war as still going on and the germans occupied Rome he was already shooting his brilliant "Rome, Citt aperta" (1945), with a shoe string budget, amateur actors, but an incredible amount of realism... and hence the neo-realism movement was born. One year latter comes "Pais", which basically consists of 6 separate stories (of about 20 minutes each) that happen over different parts of Italy in the last days of the war, after the americans' landing. Once again, Rossellini's cinematography has low quality, some of the actors are terrible, but on the other hand, the depth of his message is superb, and the realism of his portrayals is moving, despite not being as powerful as in "Rome, Citt aperta", probably because the stories lack that strength. The first segment is the worse, and starts with the americans reaching an italian village at night, and a conversation (or an attempt of a conversation) between an american soldier and a peasant girl. Here the acting is just plain awful, but even so the main theme of the movie is allowed to transpire. The second segment shows the relation between an american soldier with a little orphan italian boy, who eventually steals his boots as he is asleep. The third shows an american soldier with an italian girl, forced by circumstances to become a prostitute. These first three segments are more slow, dealing with the social consequences of the drama. In the fourth, the tension and the intensity of the movie starts to shine, as an american nurse is trying to find her former boyfriend, who now leads the italian resistance. The fifth segment shows three american army priests (a catholic, a jew and a protestant) spending a night at an old monastery, and gives a little balance and a little meaning to the madness of war, and presents also some comic relief. The last segment follows a group of the resistance which teams up with a stray american army outfit, and eventually get surrounded by the german army leading to a brutal climax. Ultimately this is not a war movie, it is a movie about the people who fought the war, and the relation between two nations: the italians and the americans, and how the italians struggle to rid themselves of the germans, how they struggle to put their lives together again, and how they struggle to understand these american saviours who appear in their mist and with whom they have to learn to live. The power of the movie lies there. Despite being saved from the nazis, there are other fights, sentimental ones, and even with peace and liberation lurking just a few weeks away for sure there is fear of the unknown, and fear of what is strange and different, even if that is an american army which is clearly there for their own good. For sure amazingly powerful at the time of release (for example, Ingrid Bergman seeing this film was the reason she wanted to work with Rossellini, which lead to their long relationship on and off the screen), it is now a little bit dated. But the reason for that, precisely because it is focused and does not show the big picture, is exactly the reason that makes it memorable. The screenplay is simple, the acting and cinematography not relevant, the pace quickens and slows down without much equilibrium, but the strength behind the directing is amazing. A real war drama by the people who experienced it, and where still experiencing it at the time it was made. A piece of cinematic history, but more so, a piece of history itself.