When The Night (2011) (Quando La Notte)

January 17th, 2012
Author: Meredith Taylor




Director/Writer: Cristina Comencini with Doriana Leondeff

Cast:  Claudia Pandolfi,  Filippo Timi

Italy,  116mins

Cristina Comencini’s films focus on the way women deal with the domestic landscape of their lives, with flair and imagination.   Adapted from her book and filmed in the Italian Alps,  Comencini harnesses the power of the mountains and the bleakness of the ice and silence to provide a strong  setting for two people who are both suffering the effects of loss.  Marina has rented a holiday apartment from Manfred,  a ski guide,  and is alone with her small son.  It’s not much of a break due to tantrums and broken sleep and Marina starts to suffer and unravel.   Manfred’s poor appreciation of women doesn’t help given that his mother cleared off when he was a child.  Something happens one night that somehow unleashes his compassion for Marina and they start to bond.    An understanding gradually develops from exchanged glances, fear and mistrust into strong desire and ultimately great passion as they two are brought together through force of circumstance.   We’re not drawn to these two but powerful performances and haunting scenery make this film a worthwhile experience.


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