Good Morning, Night

2003, Italy, 106m, Digital

Showtimes & Tickets

Screened May 22, 2024

Cacciaguida’s Dante’s prophecy in The Divine Comedy, cited at the end of Devil in the Flesh, is linked to the story of the witch in The Vision of the Sabbath. This opens the way for Marco Bellocchio to begin with Buongiorno, notte to discover the cards on the “excellent corpse” of Aldo Moro. The artist’s knowledge thus transcends judicial truth and official historiography. Like Pier Paolo Pasolini, Bellocchio can finally say “I know,” thanks to the declaration of principle, “imagination is real,” assigned to the character of the screenwriter Passoscuro. Equipped with a “healthy unconscious”, the author of Buongiorno, notte proclaims a cognitive right connected to the function of the intellectual who with a sense of responsibility questions his own historical time, without holding back. In his own way, Bellocchio can represent Moro’s ordeal, from kidnapping to killing, adopting an internal filter: the encrypted code of Buongiorno, notte is complex and transparent at the same time, alternating fantasy and reality, fictional and repertoire images, words and sounds, “dreams and deliriums.” There is no longer any need for an indirect plot, nor for the masquerade of a Pirandello character, as in Henry IV. Pirandellian is the Italy that witnesses the torment of the Moro man in the hands of the kidnappers for fifty-five days. The attitude of the political class that decides on Moro’s psychic conditions, under the “full and uncontrolled dominion” in the alleged “prison of the people,” is Pirandellian. Pirandellian is the pope, a friend of Moro, who asks for his release “unconditionally,” obeying the dictates of the prime minister, the Christian Democrat Giulio Andreotti. Finally, the official kidnappers are Pirandellian: a group of terrorists incapable of freeing themselves from the cage of the “Holy Family” stigmatized by Marx and Engels and by the Freudian Oedipus Complex towards the “father” Moro; or from the directives of the leaders, members of the Red Brigades and others, who push for the physical elimination of the convicted person. Therefore Bellocchio chooses in this film in particular to play the part of a mysterious man who attends the séance, reciting two verses from the ode The Fifth of May by Alessandro Manzoni: “Was it true glory? / Posterity will judge.” And he assigns conscious and dreamlike dissent to Moro’s jailer, Red Brigade member Chiara, as a woman and therefore antagonist: only a human and civil conscience can try to express compassion for the prisoner, against the ideological certainties or murderous resignation of his male companions of the Red Brigades cell. — Anton Giulio Mancino

A film by Marco Bellocchio