Quando la notte – When the night

Yesterday we watched When the night by Cristina Comencini. It’s a disturbing but worth seeing movie as it revolves around aspects of motherhood rarely revealed either in books or in movies. I was deeply touched by the film to the point that I immediately downloaded the book which is, by the way, written by the director. First, the setting: a mountain village where a mum goes for “vacation” with her kid. For reasons I cannot explain, I am equally attracted and repelled by the mountains. By the same token, pregnancy and maternity are fascinating and scary to me.  

High mountains are not for me. I don’t feel at ease. Perhaps it’s the cold or maybe the fact that I don’t ski. However, I like being surrounded by nature and silence. That said, I feel really claustrophobic. I would never live in a mountain village. 

So the main character goes to this extremely isolated place with her son and of course her problems only get worse. She meets someone who plays a crucial role in her relationship with baby. They are attracted to each other but nothing happens… and now I should stop here as I don’t want you to tell you the whole story.

What is so disturbing?

The place where is set and her efforts to be a good mother despite all the drawbacks of maternity which are clearly and deeply analyzed in the movie. Maternity changes everything and can be nightmare. This is probably true for many women but … it’s not “socially” ok to talk about it. Not yet and not everywhere. Having kids is not always great and no one is ready to deal with little babies. 

When the night is imbued with anxiety, that is with love. What is love if not anxiety which, at some point, appears and haunts you like a ghost? 

How does a mum feel when she has to deal with cries and lack of sleep for years and years? How is loving and almost hating your baby? What about the marriage? And what happens when a complete stranger – like in the film- saves you from yourself? Will you ever forget him?