Jimmy Rosenberg - the Father, the Son & the Talent

Director Jeroen Berkvens
Netherlands / 78 min. / 2006 / Dutch

Without moralizing, this is the saga of a demise. Jimmy Rosenberg, manouche guitar hero, from child prodigy to living cataclysm. Drugs, jailed father, family, disappointment and tragedy. An impressive testament, filmed with affection and without skimping on the hard stuff. 


An ancient dichotomy: talent as a precursor to destruction and at the same time, soul salvation. Jimmy Rosenberg, gypsy star of manouche guitar, faithful heir of Django Reinhardt, one in a million, moves from child prodigy to world name, and from there to living cataclysm. The tale of this shell-less and easy to wound man will break your heart. Mental health problems and drugs, brought on by the addiction of his siblings and the imprisonment of his father (eight years for murdering the son-in-law that abused his daughter), contributed to stripping Rosenberg of everything he loved, including his passion for the guitar. The Man, the Son, the Talent, is, as its name would suggest, is more of a film about family ties and innate talent than a film about music as such. The father, the ex-wife, the manager and the guitarist himself dissect his turbulent life in this impressive documentary, filmed with affection but without skimping on the hard stuff. Heroin, psychiatric clinic, racism, father-son misunderstanding, and in the background, the fast strumming that managed to cure some of his wound. It’s not easy to watch, but the payback is plentiful.


Film web

Showing format

Krakow Film Festival-The Grand Prix/Golden Horn for best feature-length documentary & Honorary Diploma for cinematography, The Netherlands Film Festival-Gouden Kalf voor Beste Lange Documentaire, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival-Best Feature Documentary, International Festival of Film on Art (FIFA)-Grand Prize

in festivals
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam; International Film Festival Rotterdam; Thessaloniki Documentary Festival; EDOC; Krakow Film Festival; Cologne Conference; The Netherlands Film Festival; Docúpolis; Sheffield Doc/Fest; Oslo International Film Festival; International Festival of Film on Art (FIFA); Gdansk DocFilm Festival

Jimmy Rosenberg

Gys Zevenbergen

Ton Peters NSC

Sound designer
Sander den Broeder, Pepijn Aben, Wouter Veldhuis

Frank de Jonge

Film company

Film distributor

With the Collaboration:

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