23 user 54 critic

Good Morning, Night (2003)

Buongiorno, notte (original title)
The 1978 kidnapping of politician Aldo Moro as seen from the perspective of one of his assailants: a conflicted young woman in the ranks of the Red Brigade.


Marco Bellocchio


Anna Laura Braghetti (book), Paola Tavella (book) | 2 more credits »
13 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Maya Sansa ... Chiara
Luigi Lo Cascio ... Mariano
Roberto Herlitzka ... Aldo Moro
Paolo Briguglia Paolo Briguglia ... Enzo
Pier Giorgio Bellocchio ... Ernesto
Giovanni Calcagno Giovanni Calcagno ... Primo
Giulio Bosetti Giulio Bosetti ... Paolo VI (as Giulio Stefano Bosetti)
Gianni Schicchi Gianni Schicchi ... (as Gianni Schicchi Gabrieli)
Carlo Castelli Carlo Castelli
Bruno Cariello ... Segretario del Papa
Alberto Cracco ... Medium
Emanuela Barilozzi Emanuela Barilozzi ... Annalisa
Roberta Spagnuolo ... Sandra
Giovanni Cappelli Giovanni Cappelli ... Un impiegato
Antonio De Matteo Antonio De Matteo ... Fratello Chiara


The movie is based on a true story. On 16 March 1978 Aldo Moro, the former Italian Prime Minister was kidnapped in Via Fani by the Brigate Rosse (Red Brigades), a militant Communist Italian group. He was the main supporter of the Compromesso Storico (Hystorical Compromise), which had to lead to the first Italian government supported by both the Christian Democrats and the Communists, in a period of social, economic and political crises. During the attack his five escort agents were all killed. Moro's corpse was found on 9 May 1978 in a car parked in a street between the headquarters of the Christian Democrat Party and the Communist Party. This movie is inspired by this tragic event which traumatize the whole nation. It focuses mainly on the relationship between the prisoner and his guards through the eyes of Chiara, the young woman whose role is to guard the prisoner. The movie portraits Chiara's life (her job as a librarian, the ordinary household) on one side and the political ... Written by manutwo

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Did You Know?


Near the end, when Aldo Moro walks away in the deserted street, you can see a multicolored Peace flag in the background. Those flags would decorate Italian streets only in 2003, to oppose the invasion of Iraq. See more »


Referenced in Stessa rabbia, stessa primavera (2003) See more »


La Huida (Vidala Tucumana)
(from "Navidad Nuestra")
Written by Ariel Ramírez and Félix Luna
Performed by Mercedes Sosa
Conducted by Ricardo Hagman
Warner Chappell Music Argentina - Editorial Pigal
Courtesy of Universal Music Italia srl
Decca Records, 1999
See more »

User Reviews

Intriguing Effort to Understand Terrorists
17 November 2005 | by noraleeSee all my reviews

"Good Morning, Night (Buongiorno, notte)" is an intriguing effort to understand terrorists.

Loosely based on a novel, writer/director Marco Bellocchio specifically re-imagines the kidnapping of Italian party leader Aldo Moro in 1987, with heavy use of television clips. The quaintly naive Cold War rhetoric, emphasized with odd historic black and white newsreel interstices such as of Stalinist parades, may now be seen as an examination of a symbolic precursor for today's gruesome politics, though he was already working on the film at 9/11.

The young idealists we are first introduced to seem as harmless as the radical pranksters in the contemporary "The Edukators (Die Fetten Jahre sind vorbei)." While it's a jolt to gradually learn their connection to the violent attack, first revealed as they cheer at the initial TV coverage, they seem so bumbling and nervous (one takes leave abruptly for, as it were, a conjugal visit as he feels he's the one being imprisoned; another gets fixated on an overly symbolic pet caged bird), it's never clear if they personally committed murder or if they're just the guardian cell taking orders from those who stage the mock trial and pull the triggers or if that is a moral difference that is intentionally considered irrelevant.

Real world politics do occasionally seep through in silent background commentary, through factory strikes and sarcastic graffiti, but the determined ideologues reject these actions as they see themselves as the true believers. Ironically, the drone of the TV coverage, with reports of related and unrelated violent acts around the country, they anxiously watch becomes as much a recitation as the opening pitch from the bored apartment rental agent.

Their Red Brigade aims seem so diffuse about intending to set off revolutions and counter-revolutions, compared to the more direct motives of the terrorists in "Paradise Now" (let alone how kidnapping has devolved into a business, as in "Secuestro Express"), at least to those not intimately familiar with Italian political dialectics, that it seems more understandable than ludicrous that the negotiations draw on. A long side bar scene where one of the kidnappers joins her family in a memorial service for World War II partisans nostalgically singing an anti-Fascist anthem, inspiring her to read a collection of letters resistance fighters wrote before their executions instead of her usual Lenin or Engels reading, makes the dialectics even more ironic as to what fascist behavior is. Her internal struggle to resolve these pressures, including several confusing dream sequences, is the core of the film and Maya Sansa, with very expressive eyes, is captivating as "Chiara."

The kidnapping itself takes on a "Ransom of Red Chief" feel as the Aldo Moro character, well-played by Roberto Herlitzka and the point of the film's dedication to the auteur's father, is much more of an eloquent, dignified, paternal humanist statesman than a typical politician. The kidnappers seem to be thwarted in provoking political crisis because he will only write personal, non-political notes to his family, particularly his grandson (even if does seem as if he's writing love notes to his mistress rather than to his wife). But his appeal to the pope and the pope's involvement in the negotiations and their aftermath seems as incongruous as an odd séance by political supporters or the kidnappers doing a blessing before eating. Compared to the director's earlier "My Mother's Smile (L'Ora di religione: Il sorriso di mia madre)," religion is only an ancillary issue.

The auteur's voice, as an artist, seems to speak through a somewhat naive and flirtatious friend of "Chiara"s who has written a screenplay about radicals and quotes the Emily Dickinson poem that inspired the title. He argues that the imagination can be a powerful force in influencing people, though of course the authorities misinterpret his involvement.

I saw it with a defective soundtrack, but other than odd musical commentary with bombastic selections from "Aida" and Pink Floyd, the film's strength is faces and looking into the eyes of deluded cogs in the wheel of historical forces, though the best sequence is given away in the trailer.

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Release Date:

5 September 2003 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Good Morning, Night See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,769, 13 November 2005

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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