The Machine to Kill Bad People (1948) by Roberto Rossellini

Sunday, May 11, 1986, 8:00 pm

The Machine To Kill Bad People by Roberto Rossellini


800 Chestnut Street

San Francisco, CA, 94133

The Machine To Kill Bad People (1948) by Roberto Rossellini, 80 min., is the great Italian director’s (Open City, Paisan, etc.) most explicitly experimental film, a little-known gem from his early neo-realist period. In a small post-war Italian village, a photographer is given a magical camera that has the power to petrify and kill anyone it “shoots.” The photographer takes it as his mission to eliminate all evildoers from the town. As he carries this out, he learns the difficulty and confusion arising from the attempt to distinguish between good and bad.

Plus: A Human Voice (1948) by Rossellini, 26 min., from the one-act play, “La Voix Humaine” by Jean Cocteau, with Anna Magnani — A tour-de-force monologue by Magnani, delivered over the telephone to her former lover. Co-sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute.