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The White Ship (La Nave Bianca)

Rossellini's first film as a director was supervised by Francesco De Robertis, and uses proto-neo-realist techniques and a cast of non-professionals in telling the story of a sailor who is wounded in a naval battle. As Jose Luis Guarner points out in “Roberto Rossellini,” the film's experiments in semi-documentary staging are very interesting, but should not blind the viewer to the film's didactic aim as a propaganda film for the Fascists, intending to encourage blind trust in superiors, to show that those wounded in battle are immediately cared for, and to demonstrate that there must be no stopping until victory is attained.

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