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Roberto Rossellini, one of the masters of the Italian cinema, is the subject of this wonderful documentary, conceived and directed by Carlo Lizzani, which surfaced on an international cable channel recently. Even though Roberto Rossellini is long gone, his presence dominates the film. He was, after all, a man who was a pioneer in his country with his enormous talent and capacity for creation.
His life is examined by three members of his family. Renzo and Isabella Rossellini, children of the director and Marcella De Marchis, his former wife. It becomes clear the love for this man that was a big role model for all of them. Mr. Rossellini was a big influence in all of them. In fact, all went to work in an industry where Roberto Rossellini excelled.
Rossellini, who was a obviously a genius, could do anything in the two media he worked, cinema and later television. Marcella De Marchis, who was married to Rossellini, speaks candidly about her former husband, a man she admired, in spite of the way he carried on affairs with well known beautiful women. She talks about his involvement with Anna Magnani, Ingrid Bergman and Sonali DasGupta.
There are loving tributes by Vittorio and Paolo Taviani, who were greatly influenced by the director. Mario Vitali offers a hilarious account about his playing opposite Ingrid Bergman in "Stromboli". Martin Scorsese is one American director clearly influenced by Mr. Rossellini.
A wonderful documentary no film fan should miss. Mr. Lizzani made a lasting tribute to the memory of a man who loved the movies.
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