Hot Docs 2015 Review: ‘Magic Island’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Hot Docs 2015, Movies by - April 23, 2015
Hot Docs 2015 Review: ‘Magic Island’

Magic Island


Ten years after his father, well-known Hollywood character actor Vincent Schiavelli (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), died back in his ancestral village of Polizzi, Sicily, 27-year-old Andrea Schiavelli receives a bizarre phone call. This phone call will set him on a journey from New York to Sicily. What awaits him are memories of his father, his past, and trying to make sense of their relationship as father and son.

Although slow at the beginning, the film covers the time from when Andrea receives the phone call about an inheritance he may have in Sicily, to his father’s grave, and back to New York.  Having been estranged and distanced from his father, Andrea tries to reconcile his feelings towards him. Andrea is not so much interested in the inheritance; he simply wants to come to terms with his father’s death.

His trip to Sicily gives him time and space to try to make sense of various conflicting emotions. He also attempts to make sense why moving to Italy in search of his heritage was so important to Vincent; so much so, as to leave his only son behind. Through Andrea’s own thoughts and music, the film is also about finding a part of himself. Director Marco Amenta follows Andrea on this personal journey; allowing him the time he needs to come to terms with himself, and say goodbye to his father.  An introspective and emotional film. 


Wednesday Apr 29 9:30pm , ROM Theatre
Thursday Apr 30 9:00pm, Scotiabank Theatre 7
Sunday May 3 6:00 PM, Royal Cinema

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Heidy has a love of fine art history, films, books, world issues, music and science, leading her to share her adventures on her website ( , and as a contributor at other outlets. She loves sharing the many happenings in Toronto and hopes people will go out and support the arts in any fashion possible.

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