BIOGRAPHY: Subtly assembled, minimalist praise of the goodness and beauty, intelligence and power of the female members of Roberto Rossellini’s families.
Melita Zajc
Melita Zajc
Our regular contributor.
Published date: September 13, 2020

At first, The Rossellinis seems a rather ordinary documentary about an extraordinary subject: the family legacy of Roberto Rossellini, one of the most innovative film directors of the 20th Century. It starts with archival shots of the director’s funeral, introducing the director’s grandson Alessandro, the narrator, and director of the film, and proceeds with home-movie style shots of him visiting his relatives and asking about their feelings about being «a Rossellini». For those viewers who are a bit familiar with the topic, talking about Rossellini and his family is everything but ordinary. With the words of Alessandro, who at the age of 54 decided to become a film director: «grandpa was cutting edge, not only in cinema».

Roberto Rossellini-documentary-post1
The Rossellinis, a film by Alessandro Rossellini

Radical ideas

Roberto Rossellini was one of the key directors of Italian neorealism, a cinematic movement known for introducing, among other things, filming on location. In the film, Alessandro’s focus is on this formal innovation. Early on, we see the great director …

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