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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Rose Island

Streaming on Netflix / Film & TV

Tales of outlandish independent enterprises are not new. They range from the pirate radio stations that were all the rage in 1960s Britain—think Richard Curtis’s The Boat That Rocked (released in the U.S. as Pirate Radio)—to Sealand, the self-declared principality in the North Sea that is the subject of a book by Dylan Taylor-Lehman, published earlier this year. Rose Island, directed by Sydney Sibilia, adds to this quirky history with the dramatized story of the Republic of Rose Island. A micro-nation founded by the Italian engineer Giorgio Rosa, Rose Island lasted just two months in 1968 before it was occupied by Italian police forces. In that time, it managed to establish its own government, currency, post office, and “commercial establishments,” whatever that looks like on a 400-square-foot man-made platform just seven miles from the Adriatic Coast. The film stars Elio Germano (winner of the Cannes Best Actor award for 2010’s Our Life) and Matilda De Angelis (The Undoing). Italian with English subtitles. —J.V.

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