On June 26, over 250 people packed the York Theatre “Classic Cinema” in Elmhurst, Illinois to view the premiere of the Italian-American film “My Country”. The film, which was written and directed by Elmhurst native, Giancarlo Iannotta, depicts the story of two brothers- one American, and one Italian who have never met.
Iannotta, who also stars in the film, portrays Luciano “Lucky” De Luca, a young Italian-American who lives with his ailing father, Vincenzo. Vincenzo confides in Lucky about a past indiscretion — a son he fathered while serving in the Italian army and before meeting and marrying Lucky’s mother in the United States.
Triggering a whirlwind of questions and emotions, Vincenzo passes away shortly afterward, leaving Lucky only a name and childhood photo of the boy. Lucky decides to travel to Italy to find his half-brother, Francesco, who is now in his mid-30s.
The brothers meet and travel from Rome, where Francesco lives, to the picturesque region of Molise on a journey to spread the ashes of their late father in the small town where he was born, Castel S. Vincenzo. They make the journey in a red 1971 Fiat 500.
Iannotta is no stranger to cinema. Since graduating from film school at Columbia College Chicago, he has directed several documentaries and more than 100 films and commercials. “My Country” represents Iannotta’s first feature film and acting role. It explores the themes of brotherhood, family and the idiosyncrasies of different countries with hilarity and poignancy.
As a tribute to his family roots in Molise, Iannotta calls his company Molise Films, LLC. He shot many beautiful scenes on location in Molise in the towns of Castel S. Vincenzo, Venafro, Pizzone and Castellone.
For his hometown premiere of the film, Iannotta wanted to display a Fiat at the entrance of the theatre to represent the classic Fiat featured in the film.
There were several Fiats present that evening: two Fiat 500s and an original 1972 Fiat 124 Spider owned by Al Longano, who was born in Colle d’Anchise in the Molise region.