Experiencing Interruptions?

Shadows of Endurance

Shadows of Endurance is a time travel.
The film portraits two centuries of American history through stratified layers of time, comparing the lives of the people currently living in Harlan County with the huge amount of oral histories collected and recorded by Italian author, Alessandro Portelli, over 30 years of field research. The film is a journey through different times, each with their ghosts and voices, as distant echo of a bygone age, re-emerging today in the places and faces explored by the camera. 
Through a series of encounters, the film introduces to the stories of people struggling to survive in an area stripped of its identity. A sense of absence dominates the encounters with the characters who currently live in the area: a lack of work, relationships, future, and hope. 
Deprived of a historical perspective as well as of any possible trajectory, these characters reveal a dramatic nature –often leading a life on the fringes of the law, fighting a lonely battle for survival. On the other hand, the testimonies gathered by Mr Portelli reflect a mythical and yet concrete past, when the clash was collective and the elements were supernatural.

  • Diego Scarponi
  • Diego Scarponi
  • Maurita Cardone
  • Diego Scarponi
  • Lorenzo Martellacci
  • Jan Maio
    Sound design / mix
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    22 minutes 20 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 1, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    35,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    HD, Super8 film
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    November 7, 2016
    World Premiere
  • 9° Premio Film sul Lavoro Roberto Gavioli
    November 9, 2016
    Italian Premiere
  • Bucharest ShortCut Film Fest
    November 20, 2016
    East Europe Premiere
  • 14 th World Film Festival
    March 21, 2017
    Baltic region premiere
  • The We Festival
    May 17, 2017
    Netherlands Premiere
    Official Selection
  • International Short Film Festival of Cyprus
    October 19, 2017
    Cyprus Premiere
    Official Selection
  • FLU Festival Linguaggi Urbani
    June 1, 2017
  • On The Road Film Festival
    November 25, 2017
    City Premiere
    Audience Award
  • Kosice Film & TV festival 2018
    June 15, 2018
    National Premiere
    Mention of Honor
  • Sulmona International Film festival
    Sulmona (AQ)
    November 7, 2018
    Best Documentary
Distribution Information
  • Feelmakers
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: Internet, Video on Demand, Pay Per View, Airline, Free TV, Paid TV
  • gargagnànfilm
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Diego Scarponi

Diego Scarponi works at the University of Genoa, where he directs the Audiovisual Laboratory 'Buster Keaton' and conducts research with a focus on the traces of the industrial presence in urban environments and its role in the construction of contemporary identity.
He produced and directed numerous documentaries and cross-media projects. 'L'età del ferro' (The Iron Age, 2013) was among the finalists at the Viaemiliadocfest 2013, participating in the 16* Genova Film Festival 2013 and the 9* Mantova Film Festival 2013. With the short doc 'Memoria fossile' (Fossil Memory, 2014) he was selected at the 12* TIFF, Tirana International Film Festival (November 2014), Ibiza CineFest 2016 and Las Hurdes Film Festival 2016. 'Ribelli e fuorilegge - la cospirazione partigiana 1943-1945' (Rebels and Outlaws - The Partizan Conspiracy 1943-1945), was selected for 19* Genova Film festival 2016, winning the Premio del Pubblico (Audience Award) among the three competition sections; 'Alfabeto Camallo - Noi eravamo tutto' (Docker Alphabet – We were all).
'Shadows of Endurance' has been selected at 10* NDU International FIlm Festival 2016 in Beirut, the 9* Roberto Gavioli 2016 in Brescia, the Bucharest ShortCut Film Fest 2016, the 14* World Film Festival 2017 in Tartu, Estonia, the WE Festival 2017 in Maastricht, Nederland, the FLU festival in Savona, the International Short Film Festival of Cyprus and the On the Road FIlm Festival of Rome, where won the Audience Prize in November 2017.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Portraying Harlan is portraying the United States: the sudden development of a region and its equally rapid de-industrialization are a concrete example of the dynamics of global capitalism, which here leave violently evident traces on the children and the grandchildren of the people interviewed by Mr Portelli. Harlan's coal was used to light up the cities on the coast, but the remains of all that energy is “white trash”, a derogatory expression that today is used to describe the poor whites who live in these areas, the direct heirs of the “hillbilies”, the term used to dub the Appalachians, the inhabitants of these areas.
Always hidden and despised, the people of Harlan today are constantly looking back at the past, seeking for their heroic roots, sharing with their predecessors the same need to resist and survive adversity. Endurance is a term that Portelli borrowed from Faulkner and that embodies the very spirit of the work we have undertaken.