Hide Your Smiling Faces vividly depicts the young lives of two brothers as they abruptly come of age through the experience of a friend's mysterious demise. The event ripples under the surface of their town, unsettling the brothers and their friends in a way that they cannot fully understand. Once familiar interactions begin to take on a macabre tone in light of the tragic accident, leading Eric and Tommy to retreat into their wild surroundings. As the two brothers vocally face the questions they have about loss of life, they simultaneously hold their own silent debates within their minds that build into moral uncertainty. With the incomprehensible tragedy reverberating throughout the community, the unnerved brothers respond with searching conversation, conspicuous acts of violence, and a subsequent retreat from the comforts of home.
Hide Your Smiling Faces is intimately attuned to the complexity and confusion of emotional worlds, as it captures youth in all its brutal beauty as well as a struggle to process their unexpected introduction to mortality. This richly naturalistic film, with its elegantly crafted teen and pre-teen performances is a meditative tale of life lessons learned during one rural American summer. The tumultuous and often confusing experience of adolescent boys making their first steps in the journey toward adulthood have seldom been depicted as effectively as in Daniel Patrick Carbone's first feature film. "I didn't want to tell the story through a plot. I preferred telling it in series of moments, the way memory is recalled," the director said. "I wanted to focus on the way the boys are learning how to deal with emotions and how at that age there is a lot of misplaced anger."
Directed by Daniel Patrick Carbone, 2013, U.S.A., 81 mins.Official site Filmmaker interview Indiewire Variety Hollywood Reporter