ROSE ISLAND (2020) Italian comedy-drama based on real-life mania

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Rose Island is a 2020 Italian comedy-drama film about an idealistic engineer who builds his own platform ‘island’ off the Italian coast. He promptly declares his construction a new nation, drawing the world’s attention. Values are tested when the Italian government intervenes…

Directed by Sydney Sibilia (I Can Quit Whenever I Want aka Smetto quando voglio) from a screenplay co-written with Francesca Manieri, based on the true story of engineer Giorgio Rosa. The movie stars Elio Germano, Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Tom Wlaschiha, Luca Zingaretti, François Cluzet, Matilda De Angelis and Ascanio Balbo.


In 1967, Italian engineer Giorgio Rosa funded the construction of a 400-square-metre platform in the Adriatic Sea, eleven kilometres off the coast of the province of Rimini, Italy. He furnished it with a number of commercial establishments, including a restaurant, bar, nightclub, souvenir shop and a post office. The platform declared independence on 24th June 1968, under the Esperanto name “Insulo de la Rozoj”, with Rosa as self-declared President.

Rosa’s actions were viewed by the Italian government as a ploy to raise money from tourists whilst avoiding tax. Soon after, a group of four carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza officers landed on the platform and assumed control.

The platform’s Council of Government apparently sent a telegram protesting against the “violation of its sovereignty and the injury inflicted on local tourism by the military occupation”. On 13th February 1969, the Italian Navy used explosives to destroy the ‘island’.


Netflix will stream Rose Island worldwide on December 9th 2020.

Original title:

L’incredibile storia dell’isola delle rose

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