Isabella Rossellini has had a very special Cannes experience this year. The Cannes organizers have hosted a documentary on Isabella Rossellini’s mother, classic Hollywood film actress Ingrid Bergman. The documentary is called Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words.
Ingrid Bergman is famous for her roles in Murder On the Orient Express, Stromboli, The Bells of St. Mary’s, and of course Casablanca. Her role opposite Humphrey Bogart in that film came 10 years before Isabella Rossellini was even born.
Ingrid Bergman was married three times. Isabella Rossellini is the product of Ingrid Bergman and her second husband Roberto Rossellini.
Her mother’s ubiquitous presence over the Cannes Festival is a treat to Isabella Rossellini.
“She is everywhere. She is the official poster of the festival and she has enormous spread all over Cannes. It’s wonderful,” Isabella Rossellini said. “[it was] very emotional, the size [of the poster] surprised me, and the fact that’s she’s everywhere, in every shop.”
“She’s like a big angel over Cannes,” Isabella Rossellini’s own daughter Elettra Wiedemann said.
Putting together the documentary was aided by the fact that Ingrid Bergman made a priority of documenting her life.
“[She] kept everything, she kept diaries and she kept letters” Isabella Rossellini said..
One of the topics covered in the documentary is that of a scandal involving Bergman and Isabella’s father, Roberto Rossellini. Both were still married when their affair began. She was seen by many in the United States as a “sexual predator.”
“Mama wrote a letter to my father saying ‘I want to work with you’ and she ended the letter saying ‘in Italian I can only say ti amo (I love you)’ and of course the press used that to say women are sexual predators,” Rossellini said.
“In 1949 they made a first film together, Stromboli, and they fell in love and my mother became pregnant with my brother Roberto before she could obtain a divorce.
“This created a big scandal and she was chased out of America because they felt that foreigners and stars, we come to America, and then behave immorally and are bad examples to the younger generations.”
“Mama of course was very hurt because she could not see her daughter (Pia) from her first marriage,” Rosellini said. “She was hurt by the scandal, she felt she paid such a high price for it but eventually it was resolved. She made peace with it.”
— Film-News.co.uk (@FilmNewsWeb) May 20, 2015