Shadows of Endurance is a time travel.
Shadows of Endurance 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 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.