A telling story of an unemployed Vietnam vet in Butte, Montana, whose wife leaves him after seven years when she feels there is no longer communication between them and - more painfully and pointedly - because she is unable to have a child owing to his sterility from exposure to Agent Orange. Told in a gentle style, richly emotional, Bell Diamond was made with non-professionals drawn from the community of Butte.

1985 | 16mm | Color | Sound | 96 minutes

Producer, writer, director, editor cinematographer : Jon Jost

Music: Jon A. English

With: Marshall Gaddis, Sarah Wyss, Terrilyn Williams, Scott Anderson, Pat O'Connor, Kristi Jean Hager, Hal Waldrup, Dan Cornell, Alan Goddard, Anne Kolesar, & Ron Hanekan

Shown at the Berlin and Edinburgh Film Festivals, AFI, New Directors/New Films 1987; Bergamo 1988.





"... with a story developed by the filmmaker and cast and completely improvised, the film deals with characters who are neither articulate nor particularly attractive, but pays them the kind of respect and attention that they would never receive from other quarters. Visually Jost's most impressive work to date. The impact of the film's original form of realism arrives only gradually, but once it registers, it becomes indelible."

- Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

"Among the ten best of the year. Formally exquisite and politically pointed study of an alienated Vietnam vet against the background of a bankrupted mining town."

- Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune