The Machine That Kills Bad People
Director: Roberto Rossellini
Year Released: 1952
One day, a man - who is mistaken for St. Andrew - appears at a small village off the Amalfi Coast (which has been going through hard economic times) and shows the town photographer Celestino (Gennaro Pisano) how to "get rid" of people by taking their picture - right after that, the same town is awarded millions of lira from the government and everyone starts arguing about where the money should be invested. It's a scrappy fairy tale from Rossellini that's a little rough going (he casts a lot of non-professionals ... and it shows), but provides a nice twist on a Biblical passage (Hebrews 13:2): what if the stranger you entertain isn't an angel ... but a devil? Also, it's kind of curious how the director equates the camera with an instrument of death (considering it's his proverbial paintbrush), which also brings to mind the fact that several cultures around the world (allegedly) used to believe (if not still do) that the process of being photographed "steals" your soul.