This film tells the story of Gil Rossellini's struggle with a staph infection contracted while on the film festival circuit with a film he made in Malaysia. He begins his story by telling how he was adopted into the family of famed film director of Roberto Rossellini, how he spent some years in the U. S. before becoming an international documentarian & commercial director. While traveling to Sweden to promote his latest project he contracts a rare staph infection that leads to multiple operations and months of hospital care, leaving him a paraplegic. Be warned though--the film has a lot of up close shots of his ravaged body, his daily care and some operating room shots that may not be suitable for those with an aversion to that sort of thing. Surprisingly, Sr. Rossellini remains upbeat throughout most of his ordeal and makes friends with other paraplegics he meets at the rehab center in Switzerland, where he does most of his recovery. He follows up with a second film that documents his additional treatment and recovery for another year, culminating with Part 1 being shown at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC.
I only knew about him when I saw Isabella on Iconoclasts with Dean Kamen on the Sundance Channel, when she was checking out a wheelchair that Kamen had invented that climbed stairs--I had no idea what an ordeal the poor man had been through.
I gave it an 8 out of 10 because some of the film drifts off into a little surrealism and is a little hard to connect to the actual events that are going on. I recommend seeing both parts of this man's journey to better health.
ETA: I had no idea that when I submitted this review that Sr. Rossellini had passed away earlier this month. What a sad ending for a man that seemed to love life.
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