After his homemade car is impounded because it lacks license plates, the socially awkward but inventive Italian engineer Giorgio Rosa (Elio Germano) dreams up a way to escape the government's arbitrary intrusions: With help from some friends, he constructs a 400-square-meter steel platform in the international waters of the Adriatic Sea.
The seasteaders drill for fresh water, build a bar (naturally), and attract attention from mainlanders eager for something different from the dull and heavily regulated beach club scene in nearby Rimini. From there, it's just a small step to asking the United Nations to officially recognize the Respubliko de la Insulo de la Rozoj as a sovereign nation. (That, they hope, will fend off the Italian Navy.)
Rose Island, released on Netflix and based on real events from the tumultuous summer of 1968, portrays Rosa and his allies as romantic radicals. Sydney Sibilia's film struggles to maintain an even tone—some scenes veer into whimsical, Wes Anderson–esque territory, particularly a comic encounter with a patrol boat—but it never wavers in its appreciation for our heroes as they piss off all the right people in pursuit of their slice of utopia.