Buongiorno, notte



Chiara, young terrorist member of armed struggle, is involved in the Moro kidnapping.
Through her eyes — sometimes lost, often scared, consciously or unconsciously blind to the reality surrounding her — we see the complex world of the "lead years" take shape, desperately believing in the revolution and trapped in illegal underground rituals.
Counterposed to this she has to live her everyday life too, with its normal routines: a job, an office, her colleagues and a boyfriend who seems to know her so well, so deeply, even more that she knows herself.
She holds on to those little emotions that ideology and dass struggle keep on cutting into, she finds herself in conflict with the other members of the group, and euer more uncomfortable in her combatant role, while both past and present damage her certainty, and the fascinating revolutionary utopia can't compensate the destructive fury of those who live or sleep next to her.

Director's Statement

"Goodmorning, night" is a verse by Emily Dickinson that I've read some time ago, or perhaps that I've only heard of. The exact title of the poem is actually "Goodmorning — Midnight", but thinking about that verse, I thought it hit exactly the spirit of the film, it understood how deep it is. Then we caught this play on words: GoodMORNING/NIGHT which are both a contradiction and a contrast that interest me, since it evokes those anxious, obscure, nightly times. What I don't know, is if it's day now.
At the beginning, as I was working on the subject, the starting point was totally from the outside, it was as if the tragedy, the kidnapping, wasn't seen from the front, but lived through the life of a group of characters who are only indirectly involved in the matter. An example is the scene where Moro's nephew is playing at the kindergarten, and the police come to take him away. But this didn't satisfy me, I was more interested in viewing what everyday life in prison was like, from the inside. I knew this almost family-like life, with its routines, its repetitions, so "normal", after the first moments, could offer me a lot of chances for good shots. But its flatness, the tragic and repetitive telling of the story, just weren't enough for me. At this point, the woman's character is introduced, she's a terrorist, she's full of contradictions. Through her, the film shows that a human relation between Moro and his kidnappers is possible, but this contradiction must not be misinterpreted as indulgence towards the terrorists.
The figure of the woman-terrorist was absolutely necessary, because the Opposition between the prisoner and his kidnappers wasn't enough for me. Since I'm not a historian, I'm not interested in the truth, I tried to look for a not-only-apparent movement in this story.
I needed some contradiction, reaction, rebellion elements. So the invention focused on the young woman's character and on a young man who's not part of the terrorist group, whom we don't know much about.
I said to myself: I can't just passively take the story, the historical truth — if a definite truth in the Moro tragedy does exist. I have to come up with something new, something "false" something "unfaithful". I took the liberty of doing so and at the same time I realized how things ended. These two images converge in the film. Today there's also a civil, moral need, not only an artistic one, to "betray" the story, meaning to not only passively take it. It's not true that the story goes this way and always will.
Of course I did much research, an various kinds of material, in order to make the film. Flamigni's book, Moro's letters... and Braghetti's 11 prigioniero was very useful for the inner account of imprisonment. This book describes some facts that I freely developed and widely betrayed in my film. The film's spirit is totally different. There's no trace of Chiara's rebellion, in part real in part utopian — everyone sees it as he likes - in the book.
I rarely spoke to the members of the Red Brigades (BR): I had only one very short meeting with Lanfranco Pace when Maccari died and when it was said that it had been Maccari who had materially killed Moro, since Gallinari had started crying and Moretti's machinegun had jammed. Pace confirmed - the news had already been printed in the papers - that Maccari didn't want to kill Moro, he did it to obey orders, for military discipline, and then he left the BR.
There was a very strong passion for politics back then. All lines of reasoning — even the craziest ones — came to "coherent" conclusions. There was a sort of "absurd coherence" between thinking of changing the world and taking a gun to kill someone, by an illogical, unjustifiable logic. Now they, today's BR, seem to me even farther away from the real world and from reality, and I don't think they have many chances. At the same time, today's history shows worldwide terrorism, in which everything is multiplied, the victim becomes thousands of victims.
On the 11th of September I was already working on this film and the tragedy made me think of looking for different ways of telling the story. I even followed an idea that tried to find a relation between all these orphans, the policemen's sons, the sons of all the people who were in the Towers, Moro's nephew. But then I let it go, I saw the risk of a schematic, mental parallelism...

Director's Biography

He was born in Piacenza in 1939. In 1959 he left his philosophy studies at the Cattolica University in Milan and enrolled at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome. During 1961-1962 he made short short films "Abbasso lo zio", "La colpa e la pena" and "Ginepro fatto uomo" and then moved to London where he went to the Slade School of Fine Arts. His film debut "I pugni in tasca", presented in Locarno in 1965, gave him international success.

Filmography :


Cast & Crew

Directed by: Marco Bellocchio

Written by: Marco Bellocchio

Produced by: Marco Bellocchio, Sergio Pelone

Cinematography: Pasquale Mari

Editing: Francesca Calvelli

Production Design: Marco Dentici

Costume Design: Sergio Ballo

Original Score: Riccardo Giagni

Nominations and Awards

  • European FIPRESCI Award 2003