Rose Island Movie Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Pros: 60s vibe. last century; light Italian humor; likable characters Cons: Quite predictable and simple plot; some changes to the real story in favor of the spectacle of Rose Island / “The Incredible Story of Rose Island”

Genre biographical drama, comedy
Directed by Sydney Sibilia
Cast Elio Germano (Giorgio Rosa), Mathilde De Angelis (Gabriella), Leonardo Lidi (Maurizio Orlandini), Fabrizio Bentivoglio (Franco Restivo), Luca Zingaretti (Giovanni Leone), Tom Vlaciha (V. R. Neumann), Violetta Zironi ( Frank), etc.
Groenlandia Studios, Netflix
Release year 2020
Site IMDb

1968 Rock ‘n’ roll, miniskirts, nice cars, Vietnam War, student performances all over Europe. But young Giorgio Rosa is not at all up to it. Although he just graduated from a prestigious Italian university with a fashionable and respected specialty “engineer” in the late 60s, he cannot live like everyone else. Either he violates the rules of conduct in the air on a biplane of his own design, or he gets caught by the police in an angular car without registration, which he himself built. Giorgio’s parents do not understand, it is difficult for him to communicate with officials, moreover, a girl left him a few years ago and he cannot come to terms with this loss.

One fine day, Giorgio Rosa comes up with a brilliant idea. If Italy has so many rules and regulations, why not create your own country where you can do whatever you want. An independent state outside the territorial waters of Italy, directly opposite the resort of Rimini. And since Giorgio is a talented engineer, he decides to design and build his own platform island in international waters. And with this, the young man discovers the real pithoos of Pandora. The self-proclaimed republic is a bone in the throat of Italian officials and the Vatican, which are already under severe stress due to all these sexual, musical, technical and other revolutions. Italy declares war on Rosa.


No matter how fantastic the story told in Rose Island may sound, it really happened in 1968. Giorgio Rosa, Gabriella, their friends and the Italian and international officials shown in the film are absolutely real people. Unfortunately, the President of the Republic of the Rose Island himself did not live to see the premiere of a film about himself, Giorgio Rosa died in 2017, but before his death he blessed filmmakers to work.

In general, in the history of mankind there were several micronations, some of which proclaimed independence on board ships anchored outside territorial waters, or on offshore platforms. For example, the Principality of Sealand, created on the former Roughs Tower anti-aircraft platform, exists to this day. There is also a virtual state of Asgardia based in space, which has already been joined by more than a million people. However, in most cases, micronations are short-lived formations, the very first conflict with the “real” states, near or on the territory of which they are located, ends in failure. If you look at Wikipedia, you will find out that the Republic of the Rose Island did not last long, but its life turned out to be bright and beautiful.


It seems that in addition to the desire to tell an interesting story, the filmmakers were actually attracted by this beauty, style and spirit of the era in which the Republic of the Rose Island was created. And they tried to convey it in all its glory. Rose Island is a beautiful film in the bright colors of the 60s. There are chic interiors, stunning Italian cars, girls in short bright skirts, music, and the atmosphere of a glamorous beach party. The mood of Rose Island is close to The Boat That Rocked / “Rock Wave”, the events of which took place around the same time and also in international waters. However, Rose Island also has its own Italian flavor.


There are many references and attributes of that era in the picture: Ducati motorcycles, races in Imola, the emerging European Union, the sex revolution, the destruction of traditional Italian society, the reduction of the total influence of the church. It seems that the authors even miss the times when their country was undergoing interesting social changes. And although they show the officials of the Italian government as ridiculous blockheads, there is still a note of respect in this banter with the founding fathers, nevertheless they speak of the people who stood at the origins of the Republic.


Rose Island is a fairly simple, light Italian comedy that has been sorely lacking lately. Its plot and ending can be predicted at the very beginning, but the heroes of this story are so cute and handsome guys and girls that you instantly forgive them for this simplicity. How do you forgive and somewhat tearful and not quite corresponding to the reality of the ending. There was no artillery shelling at the end, the Republic of the Rose Island ended its existence much more prosaically. However, who said that Giorgio Rosa lost? Looks like he won the grand prize.


A light Italian comedy that tells a true story that happened in 1968.

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