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GOOD MORNING, NIGHT
aka BUONGIORNO, NOTTE
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Maya Sansa, Luigi Lo Cascio, Roberto Herlitzka, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio, Giovanni Calcagno, Paolo Briguglia
Director: Marco Bellocchio
Language: Italian (English subtitles)
UK: 105 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language
UK Release Date: 19 November 2004
Marco Bellocchio's powerful film GOOD MORNING, NIGHT is based on the true story of the kidnapping of Italy's former Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978. Bellocchio's screenplay won the Prize for Outstanding Individual Contribution at the Venice Film Festival and the film won the European Film Academy Fipresci Prize in 2003.
Rome, 1978. A young woman, Chiara (Maya Sansa) moves into a large apartment in a quiet suburb with her husband, Ernesto (played the director's son, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio). She works as a librarian for the government and has a colleague, Enzo. He asks her about her private life but she gives him no straight answers... in secret she is a member of the extreme terrorist underground, the Red Brigade. Her quiet life masks one of the biggest kidnaps in Italian history, the kidnap of Aldo Moro, who is imprisoned in the apartment.
GOOD MORNING, NIGHT does not explore nor judges the motives of the terrorists. Even though Bellocchio does not approve of their acts, he focuses on one single aspect of the story that has held Italy in its grip for 55 days: the life they share with their prisoner, who is held in a small room before his assassination. The tensions between the kidnappers grow and Chiara, who spies on Moro, has difficulties coping with her double life, dreaming of a third life in which Moro could go free. The only person who is calm is Moro, who seems to be much more in control than the terrorists who slowly become prisoners of their situation.
"When I began to work on the subject, I started from the point of view of looking in from the outside. As if the tragedy, the kidnapping, was seen by those only indirectly involved... But eventually, this didn't satisfy me. I was more interested in seeing what everyday life in prison was like, from the inside. I knew this almost family-like life, with its routines, its repetitions, its 'normality' could offer me a lot of chances for good scenes." - Marco Bellocchio
Carefully, Bellocchio controls the performances, the visual style, the light and the sound. The interior scenes are mixed with real news footage that show the impact of the kidnap on the country and the refusal of the Government and the Vatican to negotiate with the terrorists. And so, Moro's fate is decided. He writes immensely moving letters to his family, used by Bellocchio in his screenplay. He was also inspired by the book "The Prisoner", co-written by former Red Brigade member Anna Laura Braghetti, who took part in the kidnap.
Marco Bellocchio was born in 1939. He made his first feature film in 1965 and has made more than twenty films to date.