Roberto Rossellini’s follow up to the stupendous Rome, Open City was probably always going to be a bit of a letdown. Rossellini mitigates some of that disappointment by changing up the structure and focus, even if war is still the general topic. Paisan, from a word that is used in Italy to address a fellow Italian as a friend, is really six short films that are connected with documentary footage of the Allied invasion and liberation of Italy. The movie follows a roughly sequential timeline from the early landings to the last battles and jumps from small seaside towns to big cities like Rome and Florence. Because each roughly 20-minute-long segment is completely independent from the others, the characters don’t get quite as much time to make as strong an impression as some of those in Rome, Open City did. Rossellini still manages to craft stories and relationships that leave a mark. I couldn’t tell you the names of any of the characters a day later but I can tell you about the wonderfully touching little moments that Rossellini captures them in and his remarkable use of the short story structure to link the segments through thematic and geographic similarity.