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: Buono, an illiterate casket builder, steps out of his woodshop sanctuary to care for Luca, his senile father, and the waning funeral home. When the bank repossesses the hearse, Buono succumbs and reluctantly calls in his estranged brother, Michael, a boozing Wall Street whiz kid with a score to settle. The two instantly clash over how best to run the business: by Buono’s family-taught traditions or by Michael’s Big Board vanity of profits above all. Michael’s rage at his unresponsive father fuels his spite for the family, and the company’s outlook puts Buono worse off than ever. Meanwhile, an infamous tragedy triggers one last memory in the old man, setting him off on a journey of love and redemption.
Tuscany, 1928: Buono reminisces about his whimsical childhood and his family’s last days before immigrating to America. Luca, then just a lowly store clerk, has one last chance to win the respect of his hard-nosed father by rebuilding a chapel for the impoverished peasants. When a scheming bishop demands, even more, a local thug is rebuffed. Luca disregards his father’s dire warnings, seduced by the praise of the villagers and ignoring the ominous powers headed their way. This culminates in the most traumatic experience Buono can remember as a child, a life-changing event that makes him and his family even greater targets for revenge and catapults him to manhood well beyond his grasp.