Set in Italy in the late 1930s, The Shadow of the Day is a romantic historical drama filled with suspenseful twists. Anna, a mysterious young woman, arrives in the picturesque provincial town of Ascoli Piceno in central Italy. Starving, she desperately searches for work. Luciano, a disabled World War I veteran who runs an upscale restaurant, takes pity on her and hires her as kitchen maid. Anna soon discovers that the town is shrouded in fear and suspicion. Director Giuseppe Piccioni’s evocative storytelling, combined with brilliant performances, continually builds tension that is palpable throughout. Almost all the townspeople seem eager to conform and embrace fascism, including Luciano. But Anna resists. Brilliant and unconventional, she quickly works her way up, becoming a popular waitress and assistant. She shows Luciano that his everyday acts of respect and generosity are more important than political slogans and propaganda. Luciano’s attraction to Anna develops through a series of encounters into a passionate affair. However, Luciano uncovers a set of increasingly dangerous secrets putting their love and lives at risk. The past cannot remain past. As the war escalates and antisemitism spreads, it appears as though everyone is hiding who they truly are.
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