SEE YOU TOMORROW
by Paolo Rossi and Andrea Zaccariello.
– synopsis –
Edoardo Santilli is a fundamentally goodhearted but restless forty year old, in constant search for a lucky break that will change his life. One day, after earning zilch point zilch from a stack of instant, scratch-away lottery cards, he reads a curious bit of news in a newspaper’s cultural page: in Central Italy there’s a small town whose entire population is over the age of eighty. Santilli gets a brainstorm: why not open a funeral agency? With the earnings from the mathematically certain funerals, he’ll be able to solve his financial problems. He rushes to ask for financing from a bank director who consents, but only on the condition that he offers his old grandmother’s house as a guarantee. It’s a done deal.
After driving to the “oldest” town in Italy, aboard a refurbished 1980’s hearse, Santilli patches together a credible funeral agency, and living among the old-timers who surprisingly aren’t in the least hostile, he starts waiting for them to die.
But the days glide by. Even months. But not a single one of them has the decency to croak. An herb perhaps? The air? A microclimate? It seems impossible, but in that town nobody ever dies!
Before long the old-timers take advantage of that man in perennial attendance to ask him for little services and errands. And he, despite himself, obligingly goes to buy them medicines and other “big city” items. He listens to them, puts up with them, helps them: practically becoming their group caregiver! And so he ends up “nurturing” the very same people he had hoped to bury.
Santilli makes friends with the only youth in town, Filippo Pezzarossa a dazed and crazed “hippy” living in the legendary days of the Flower Power Era who works for the Mortuary Police; the meeting of these two wildly different personalities, one a modernist, the other nostalgic, creates a bizarre and paradoxical rapport between them. Meanwhile the Bank Director presses Santilli: there’s the mortgage to pay. Santilli is oppressed and discouraged.
As if things weren’t bad enough, during the butt-nipping cold of winter, Santilli catches pneumonia. The doctor from out of town, sternly warns him: “Careful Santilli, pneumonia’s a killer! You’re not too far from your own funeral!” And Santilli, in a hoarse whisper, tiredly raises his index finger and answers: “At least one…”
But now, none other than the old- timers, grateful and fond of him, are the ones who tend to that wannabe undertaker: they give him injections, knit him blankets, fuss over him. The previous relationship based on the certainty of death, becomes one based on the hope of life.
Unfortunately, time has run out: the bank director is about to proceed with the expropriation and evict Santilli’s old grandmother from her home. Santilli doesn’t know what to do. And that’s when six old-timers decide to take a day trip to an old sanctuary. But their minibus plunges into an escarpment, bursting into flames. Six dead, all the passengers. Santilli rushes to the accident site where the young “flower power” cop has already sealed the body bags containing the horrendously charred remains of his friends.
At last the funerals that Santilli had so eagerly longed for. But now he is crying more than the victims’ relatives. Nonetheless he makes enough money to cover his most pressing debt.
But nothing is like it seems and a big surprise is about to change Santilli’s life ones again. This time for good.
That’s the way it is: the wheel of life always issues the right number. Your number. Even though it’s hardly ever the one you want or expect.