Two brothers — one American, one Italian, who’ve never met — take a road trip from Rome to the unknown but picturesque region of Molise on a journey to spread the ashes of their late father in the small town where he was born.
Living a quiet, middle-class life on the northwest side of Chicago, Luciano “Lucky” De Luca, a young, 20-something Italian-American with a passion for photography, lives at home with his immigrant father, Vincenzo, late 60’s. His health ailing, Vincenzo confides in Lucky about a past indiscretion — a son he fathered during his service in the Italian army (before meeting and marrying Lucky’s late mother in the U.S.). Setting off a whirlwind of questions and emotions, Vincenzo passes away shortly after leaving Lucky only a name and childhood photo of the boy. After much soul-searching, Lucky decides he’ll travel to Rome to find the boy, Francesco, now in his mid-30’s.
Kissing his longtime girlfriend Elizabeth “Liz” goodbye, Lucky takes a long look at his father’s urn deciding to bring it to Vincenzo’s birthplace in the small, mountainous region of Molise. Hoping Francesco will also accompany him, Lucky arrives in The Eternal City finding him at a law firm address (from the online profile) and explains the surreal situation. After some initial cynicism, the newly acquainted brothers embark on the road trip to Molise, but not without the help of their “third” brother — a bright, fire-red ‘65 Fiat Cinquecento. The brothers start slowly connecting but will they make it to Castel San Vincenzo with the urn and their emotions in check? Facing their new reality, MY COUNTRYexplores the themes of brotherhood, family and the idiosyncrasies of different countries with hilarity, but also poignancy.
After graduating from college and remaining in the Chicago suburbs, three years ago I decided to turn things in a completely different direction and move to Rome, Italy. My biggest hurdle was not speaking Italian, so I attended night classes and worked freelance jobs in the hope of producing and directing a work of my own there one day. After two years there, I turned those incredible memories and stories into the basis of this film. In August 2016, we spent two wonderful weeks shooting the film between Chicago and the Molise region, my own father’s paese (hometown). Although fiction, we shot in a documentary/cinema-vérite style for the most natural performance utilizing a small crew, minimal lighting and improvised dialogue but from heavily plotted scenes. Now in the final stages of post-production, we're planning our premiere in the late spring of 2017 followed by a festival run, then hopefully distribution between USA and Italian markets.