Rose Island

Rose Island (L’isola delle Rose) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: Sydney Sibilia. Cast: Matilda De AngelisTom WlaschihaElio Germano , Fabrizio Bentivoglio, François Cluzet, Luca Zingaretti.

I watched this on my sister’s suggestion (Though we don’t always see things under the same light… ) but I knew absolutely nothing about it. What a delightful surprise this was!A caption right at the front of the film said “based on a true story”, but I’m so used to seeing those kind of warnings that it didn’t even register on me. It was only once the film was over, during the end credits featuring black & white photos of the real event, that it dawned on me that this amazing story actually happened!

Essentially it’s the story of a man who in 1968 built his own “island” (well a large platform in the middle of the sea) 5 miles off the cost of Italy (opposite to Rimini) and fought to make it into an independent “country” with its own language!The incredible story itself is possibly better than the film itself, which however very watchable it is, struggles in places to find its own voice (or understand which genre it should be).

At times it’s way too comical and farcical (especially in the very simplistic and over-the-top way the Italian Government is depicted), preferring the easy laugh to a much deeper understanding of the real issue at stake and seemingly missing the point and the power of the actual story. It also somehow misses most of the emotional bits and by the time the final sequences comes along I felt it could have been a lot more powerful (I’m thinking of the same sort of scene in Cinema Paradiso for example… but then again, I don’t want to spoil it). Having said all that, I’ve had a ball with it: it’s light enough, it’s entertaining all the way through and it’s nicely filmed and acted (though however much I liked the main character, I never quite believed it could be just out of university) and as I said the story itself was enough for me to give it an extra star.

One for those who think Italian movies are only about Mafia and neorealism.

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