In the world of reality tv, it’s easy to paint the children of celebrities as spoiled rich malcontents whose easy lives are the envy of all. Magic Island choses the show the opposite. Andrea Schiavelli is the son of Vincent Schiavelli, a great character actor who has played a part in many movies you saw in your youth. It is clear from the outset of the film that son and father did not have the best of relationships and this is a theme that is explored throughout the film. Vincent has since passed away and leaves something for his son…. in Sicily. The resulting documentary follows Andreas as he journeys back to his family origins, visiting all his fathers friends and family and facing the grim reality that he’ll never be well liked as his father as well as dealing with people who seemed to have a better relationship with his pop then he had. It’s a lot to take in and it’s what’s at the heart of this film.
The film features some lovely shots of life in Sicily and it was nice to see shots of a place I don’t know a lot about aside from mob movies. The story struggles at times because as the principle character, Andrea doesn’t come across as a very willing participant in the film at times and was not entirely engaging. It might be because of his reserved nature or the personal nature of the story. In a way it is refreshing because the film shows that movie stars can also have normal children with semi normal lives, a thought that rarely crosses our mind.