My Shadow Is Your Shadow [Mia l’ombra è tua] — Italian Film Festival 2023

Review by John P. Harvey.

When praise by a social-media “influencer” causes a surge in demand for Vittorio Vezzosi’s (Marco Giallini) 25-year-old novel The Wolves Inside, Vezzosi’s publisher persuades him to start on a sequel and hires recent classics graduate, Emiliano (Giuseppe Maggio), to assist him — and to report back on progress.

Vittorio has no use for an assistant, and his mighty, protective bodyguard, Mamadou (Sidy Diop), is ready to ensure that Emiliano not bother him; but Emiliano’s educational background and character soon lead Vittorio to consider him somebody he can bounce his thoughts off and trade educated insults with.

When the time comes for Vittorio to promote the long-awaited sequel via a talk in Milan, the road trip it entails for the Vittorio and Emiliano becomes an adventure in intergenerational differences in their approaches to life, love, and partying.

Adapted from Edoardo Nesi’s 2019 novel La mia ombra è tua (recently translated into an English-language edition, as My Shadow Is Yours) and infused with both comedy and concealed pathos, My Shadow Is Your Shadow highlights the surprises that may be in store for those who take risks in engaging meaningfully with life and with those very different from themselves.  Neither overly dramatic nor terribly intellectual, the film nonetheless manages to gently explore intergenerational differences, the effects of time on lost loves, minor corruption, generosity, and reciprocity, largely through the entertaining interactions of Emiliano with Vittorio and Mamadou and their evolving relationships.  Though it may not raise many probing questions, it’s a film that your thoughts are likely to revisit.

Screening at Palace cinemas.

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