Fellini cites Paisà as the turning point in his life. Before it, he had undertaken scriptwriting without enthusiasm; movies had not interested him as much as journalism or caricatures. When visiting a set, he had never felt at ease or understood what all the dozens of people were doing; it felt absolutely foreign. Then "seeing Rossellini at work, I discovered for the first time that it was possible to make films with the same intimate, direct, immediate rapport as a writer writes or a painter paints. (...) Looking at thing(s) with love, and with the communion that is established from one moment to another between a face and me, an object and me, I understood that the profession of director could fill my life, could be rich enough, passionate enough, exalting enough, to help me to find a sense in existence."
Tag Gallegher, The Adventures of Roberto Rossellini, pp. 193-4.