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Cinema, Italian American Issues

Our Return to Italy

with filmmakers Marylou and Jerome Bongiorno

May 19, 2023
6:30 pm

This event is presented in collaboration with
John D. Calandra Italian American Institute at CUNY

Our Return to Italy
(USA, short, 25 min.)

Directed by
Marylou & Jerome Bongiorno

Robert Cuccioli, Mark Giordano, Grace Julianna, Rita Pietropinto Kitt, and Victoria Wallace

Followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers
in conversation with
Anthony J. Tamburri, Dean, Calandra Institute, CUNY


Our Return to Italy is a short fictional film about an Italian-American patriarch who wants to uproot his multigenerational family winemaking business to Italy but hides the truth about his motives, directed by Emmy-nominated, award-winning, husband and wife filmmakers Marylou & Jerome Bongiorno

Francesco Santangelo’s family is deeply rooted in his New Jersey winery but he’s decided to uproot the entire family and move operations to where he was born in Lombardy, Italy. His granddaughter Emma knows nothing about the move, although she’ll be thrilled because she’s a budding documentary filmmaker whose life is steeped in famous Italian films. But the rest of the winemaking family is up in arms. His daughter Anna, the vineyard botanist, is at her wit’s end over the relocation, because she’s also dealing with a very rocky marriage.  Her “weekend comedian” husband Rick, the vineyard accountant, is frantic over the dwindling finances and thinks moving to Italy is like “contracting the plague.” And his niece Giovanna, the vineyard chemist, is dazed by the move, anxious about being an African-Italian-American woman in a same-sex relationship in Italy. The big catastrophe will come when the family finds out the real reason for Francesco’s sudden and seismic return to Italy.