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One might think that a film like Kill Gil (Volume 1), which documents director Gil Rossellini's battle with a rare and devastating bacterial infection, would leave the typical viewer feeling morose and depressed. But just the opposite is true. Shot in a charmingly low-tech, off-the-cuff manner, the film is actually a record of hope, perseverance, and gentle humor. Rossellini, the adopted son of famed Italian filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, falls into a mysterious three-week coma soon after the 2004 Venice Film Festival and is hospitalized in Sweden, where he undergoes a battery of operations to temper the deadly staphylococcus bacteria that is ravaging his body. Staring death in the face, he begins a video diary with the help of family (including sister Isabella), friends, and hospital staff. Bolstered by their support he starts his journey towards an uncertain recovery. The film spares no intimacy, and we are privy to every sore, abscess, and skin graft on Rossellini's weakened body. But his self-effacing charm softens the impact of the film's graphic details. Little by little, he gets well enough for a transfer to a Swiss rehabilitation clinic, where he learns that it is unlikely that he will regain the use of his legs. But he doesn't let the prognosis get the better of him. He immerses himself in his therapeutic regimen, and ultimately emerges from the hospital in a wheelchair and full of life, after seven months of treatment.
Film Information
Year: 2005
Length: 108 minutes
Language: English
Country: Italy, Switzerland
Premiere: New York
Cast & Credits
About the Director(s)
As a teenager, producer/director Gil Rossellini worked on the set and in the editing room with his father, the late director Roberto Rossellini. In the early 1980s, he worked as a production assistant on Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy (1983) and Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America (1984). From there, he began writing, producing, and directing a handful of diverse documentaries that took him from the height of the Himalayas to the corridors of the White House. Today he runs his own media and entertainment company, Rossellini & Associates, which has theatrically distributed such prestigious films as Life Is Beautiful (1997) and Chocolat (2000). Recently, Rossellini founded The East India Production Company with partner Samir Gupta. The company is aimed at producing Indian feature films by the new generation of filmmakers. Several projects are already in development. For more information on Rossellini visit


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