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Good Morning, Night
cast: Maya Sansa, Luigi Lo Cascio, and Roberto Herlitzka

director: Marco Bellocchio

103 minutes (15) 2003
widescreen ratio 1.78:1
Artificial Eye DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by Gary Couzens
Good Morning, Night is a reconstruction of the kidnapping of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978. The kidnapping was carried out by an extreme political faction called the Red Brigade, who hide Moro in a house owned by Chiara (Maya Sansa), who works as a government official while secretly being part of the Brigade. As the kidnapping makes headline news across Italy, the reaction of the press, the media, parliament, the church and even the ordinary working people the Brigade purports to represent is hostile to the kidnappers. Even the Pope intercedes, pleading for Moro's life. As the kidnappers sentence Moro to death for his 'crimes', Chiara becomes increasingly unsure of her beliefs.

Marco Bellochio made an impact with his first feature, Fists In The Pocket, made in 1965 at the age of 26. He has worked consistently since, though many of his films have failed to be shown in the UK. One such was 1986's Devil In The Flesh, which achieved notoriety for an un-simulated fellatio scene involving lead actress Maruschka Detmers. The film failed to be released in the UK due to censorship worries, though it would be passed uncut nowadays without a doubt. Based on true events, Good Morning Night, which won the Best Screenplay award at the Venice Film Festival, is an engrossing story that gives some insight into the mindset of political extremists. Some knowledge of the political climate might be useful to non-Italians, but the film holds you in its grip nonetheless. Bellochio makes striking use of sound, in particular two Pink Floyd tracks (The Great Gig In The Sky and Shine On You Crazy Diamond), and if you have a 5.1 sound system, a firework display early on will give your speakers a workout.

Artificial Eye's DVD has an anamorphic transfer in the ratio of 1.78:1 and a choice of Dolby digital 5.1 and 2.0 soundtracks. Disc extras: an hour-long documentary covering the background to the story, behind-the-scenes footage, an overview of Bellochio's directing career, a Bellochio biography, and the trailer.

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