Face Painters, a weaving dual narrative, multi-generational saga of one boy’s search for the American dream and the lifetime it took to achieve.
Brooklyn 1963: Luca Gravetti (80), a guilt-ridden funeral director with a checkered past, is losing his battle with dementia, and Buono (41), a masterful casket maker and full-blown illiterate, must juggle both the family’s ailing funeral home and his dear father.
When the IRS steps in and the bank repossesses the hearse, Buono gives in and reluctantly looks up his estranged brother, Michael (35)—with all the smarts of a Wall Street whiz kid but plagued by booze and racist dogma.
The two immediately clash over how best to run the business—by Buono’s long-established old-school ways, or with Michael’s modern-day vanity of profits-above-all. Meanwhile, an infamous event triggers one last memory in Luca, setting him off on a journey of love and redemption.
Tuscany 1928: Buono (6) reminisces about his whimsical childhood, and his family’s last days before immigrating to America.
Luca (45), a lowly store clerk, has one last chance to finally gain the respect of his hard-nosed capitalist father by rebuilding a chapel for the impoverished peasants. But when a scheming bishop demands even more, a local strong-arm is rebuffed.
Luca disregards his father’s dire warnings, seduced by the praise of the villagers and ignoring the ominous powers heading their way. This culminates in one of the most traumatic experiences Buono can remember as a child, a life-changing event that makes him and his family an even greater target for revenge and catapults him to manhood well beyond his grasp.