VIVA L'ITALIA is the kind of myth-centric filmmaking committed as public act perfected by Renoir w/ LA MARSEILLAISE (one of the most timely collectively-minded popular films of all time). Rossellini is a far more paternalistic filmmaker, in his later career playing something like the role of scholar. VIVA L'ITALIA is a standout among his education-focused films. A completely singular approach put to singular use.
Of course, it would be so very Rossellini to shoot a documentary as though it were fiction, and shoot fiction as though it were documentary....but more importantly, how wondrous it is for a camera's movements to be so utterly unpredictable, for each cut to come when you least expect it. Rossellini is still so far ahead of his time.