While filming a documentary in Mississippi in 1965, Frank De Felitta forever changed the life of an African-American waiter and his family. In 2011, Frank's son returns to the Delta to examine the repercussions of that fateful encounter.
Raymond De Felitta
Hodding Carter III,
Frank De Felitta,
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Raymond De Felitta
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An unseen narrator looks back to 1956, on Staten Island, when Buddy, an Italian guy with big dreams, buys a house planning to live upstairs with his wife Estelle and run a bar downstairs. The first problem is Estelle's lack of confidence in Buddy. Then, Irish tenants upstairs refuse to move and won't pay rent; plus, the woman upstairs is about to have a baby. The next problem is the baby: once he's born, it's clear his father was Black. The Irish guy splits; Buddy evicts mother and child, then feels guilt and sets her up in a flat while she sorts out an adoption. Estelle's lack of faith, the Irish lass's spirit, Buddy's dream, racial prejudice, and the baby's fate play out. Written by
Buddy's repressed. A young Italian-American man living in Staten Island in 1956, he sees opportunity all around him. It's laying there waiting for him to pick it up and run with. Except for one major obstacle, his wife Estelle. She wants only for Buddy to find his narrow niche in the local community, with its dead-end job and familiar surroundings, and exist quietly in her idea of the American dream.
But it's not Buddy's vision. So Buddy perseveres, undercut at every turn by Estelle. He finally manages to buy a two-family house to turn into his dream; a bar on the first floor, his home on the second. The current occupants are a foul-mouthed white trash Irish immigrant family, the very young wife in a very pregnant way. When she gives birth to a child whose father is obviously black, the older husband abandons her. And from this point Buddy's life journey takes a remarkable turn.
Two Family House is a prototypical Indie film in all its positive aspects. It does very well with little budget, maximizing the contributions of cast and crew. The uplifting story is told without pandering or exploitation. The movie's not great, but it is effective, and most importantly, very enjoyable.
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