Alessandro Rossellini was a teenager when his grandfather, filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, died suddenly of a heart attack. Forty some odd years later, he decided to make a documentary about the burden that came from being part of an entertainment dynasty and how that can screw with a person.

Alessandro is the only child of Renzo Rossellini (Roberto’s son) & Katherine L. O’Brien. He had an interesting upbringing of a lavish lifestyle surrounded by the perks that come with famous relatives. Unfortunately, things weren’t always perfect. His grandfather, while seemingly a loving caretaker, had harsh and cold moments which didn’t make his second marriage to Ingrid Bergman easy. Over the years, the expectations of being a Rossellini caught up to him and eventually lead to a self-destructive lifestyle of which he’s still feeling the ramifications of.

Filmed by Alessandro and a small crew, we follow him as he travels the world and talks to the surviving family members and asks them if being part of a famous family made life easier or more difficult for them. Family secrets are revealed, feud’s rehashed, and some tensions are brought to the surface. But they are a family and at the end of the day, they’re all they have left and they are the only one’s who went through this ordeal together.

This film is a fair and even handed telling of how fame can be a burden and how the expectations of a parent can either be a positive or a hinderance. The morale of the story is that it is ok if you don’t live up to your family’s expectations, everyone is different and everyone has their own journey to go on.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Doc Edge Festival 2021 will screen THE ROSSELLINIS in Auckland on June 10 and Wellington on June 24. The documentary is available online from June 25 – July 11. Tickets and more information are available HERE

Doc Edge Festival 2021 Review – The Rossellinis

Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist), May 21, 2021. Rating: TBC. Running time: 90 min.

PRODUCTION: A B&B Film, Rai Cinema, Istituto Luce Cinecittà, VFS Films production. Producer: Raffaele Brunetti. Executive producers: Laura Michalchyshyn.

CREW: Directors: Alessandro Rossellini, Lorenzo d’Amico Carvalho. Writers: Andrea Paolo Massara, Alessandro Rossellini, Davis Simanis Jr.. Cinematography: Valdis Celmins. Editing: Ilaria de Laurentiis. Music: Stefano Brunetti, Ruggero Catania, Luigi De Gaspari, Elisabetta Spada, Margherita Vicario.

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