Placed in a small seaside area north of Rome, of late popular with the intelligentia and artists, La Lunga Ombra provides a portrait of 3 professional women under the hidden duress of post 9-11 Italy, and more broadly, Europe. They have gone together because one has been left by her husband and the other two seek to comfort her. Instead, however, the other two women are
drawn into a vortex of sadness, perhaps provoked by their friend's domestic tragedy, but as the film implies, perhaps more by the undertow of the larger effects of 9-11 as it impacts Europe.

An opening sequence at a photographer's studio where a woman, having some kind of
publicity shot taken by a well-known Roman photographer, receives a telephone call apparently of a serious nature.

A trio of women arrives by the sea on a darkening evening, entering a small house. The abandoned woman,Anna (played by Agnese Nano) takes a walk. Her friends, Constanza (Eliana Miglio) and Giulia (Gianfelici) confer with one another about Anna's state, which draws them into their own feelings and conflicts. In the morning there are ominous signs. Constanza, and then Giulia try to force Anna to talk about her feelings and she refuses. They go to the beach. Giulia, a journalist of some kind is called to Rome and leaves on a train. She interviews a writer (Albinati) who has been in Afghanistan The other two visit Capalbio and have a lunch together in which their conflicts in views open up while at the same time they seem to fuse together. They return to the house where Constanza tells a long story drawn from a book she is writing. The story angers Anna who abruptly leaves.

Another day, Anna and Constanza go to a rain swept beach, and briefly argue.

Giulia speaks directly to the camera of her anxiety and fear, her sense of the meaninglessness of her life; then Anna and Constanza, facing the camera together, speak venomously of one another.

In a long near silent sequence the three sit in the house, seized with sorrow. Giulia speaks of her lover or husband who is in Iraq as a reporter.

Giulia in an editing studio receives a telephone call. Obliquely it is understood her husband has been kidnapped.

The film concludes with an al Qaeda tape of a man being beheaded.


2006 | miniDV | Color | Sound | 77 minutes

Concept, direction, camera, edit, graphics, sound : Jon Jost

Music: Erling Wold

With: Eliana Miglio, Agnese Nano, Simonetta Gianfelici, Edoardo Albinati, Marco Delogu

Premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival, Jan 2006
Shown at: Jeonju (digital competition), Buenos Aires Independent, Warsaw, Frankfurt, Paris/Berlin






"Le lunga ombra"--I hope I've gotten the Italian title right: Yes, "Persona" hangs over it, but so does Rossellini's "Voyage in Italy" (a film much more to my liking), especially in its embrace of the spirituality residing in antiquity--from our vantage, that is to say.

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