Actor, dancer and TV chef Paul Mercurio goes on a quest to uncover his past and discovers a story of mafia violence, murky political patronage and innocents caught in the crossfire.
The second of four children, Paul grew up never really knowing his father, Gus Mercurio, who left when Paul was five. In seeking a greater understanding of his fractured upbringing, Paul is keen to find out what drove Gus to abandon his wife and children? Gus moved to Australia from Milwaukee when he was 28 but Paul knows very little about why he emigrated or the family his father left behind in America.
Meeting with his father, Paul learns that his grandfather, Vincent ‘McGurk’ Mercurio, was a violent man who abused his wife and children both physically and verbally. Not only that, but McGurk may have had mafia connections.
Paul heads to the US where he finds out that McGurk was an influential figure in the Italian-American community and a powerful figure in local and national Republican Party politics. But how did the son of poor Italian migrants get into such a powerful position?
Paul also explores the story of his grandmother Mickey. Forced to marry McGurk in a shotgun wedding, Mickey got almost no support from her husband, raising four young children on her own. Did Mickey manage to break away from her violent husband and gain her own financial independence?
Tune in to SBS ONE at 7.30pm on Sunday to find out what Paul discovers…
Paul will also be online after the show for a live web chat.
If you can’t catch the show on tv, you can watch it online after the episode has aired and the live web chat will also be available to replay on the SBS website.
Don’t forget to check out the Extras section for additional interviews and exclusive scenes that weren’t shown in the tv broadcast!