Problems I had with the movie


we dont get to see the group kidnap the president. That would be a critical aspect that defines who the people are, how serious they are about their cause, and what kind of relationship they have with Moro. I mean this kidnapping was well planned, well-executed and extremely violent, 5 people were murdered in a hail of bullets at a stop light.

This means during the film we would have viewed the kidnappers as more than just some scared college kids. These people were very serious. The film didn't convey the level of conviction that these people must have had, nor why they had it.

Their goals seemed vague, their motivation and politics seemed very vague as well. The woman and Moro are the only real characters, the other kidnappers are 1 dimensional, they are not developed at all, imo. Her dreams in black and white of Stalin didn't make much sense to me either. Like many movies with politics in them, the director showed politics in a way that doesn't give one insight into how people could do these things. Thats how you really get into the character and show their crisis of conscience, when you know why they want to do it, and then later why they are afraid. I think the movie did that decently with the main character, but it was hard for me to imagine this innocent sweet looking and acting girl, being a part of this in the first place. But maybe this reflects the reality of the red brigade and their vague, incoherent version of communist politics.

Also, if the red brigade was formed in response to political repression or some other form of exploitation in the country, this was not shown at all, and that is a major flaw in the movie too, why are these people doing this stuff? I'm not saying for the movie to justify it, but explain it, these are not insane people, though they are obviously misguided.

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The movie worked for me. I found it very powerful. Once we view a person as a symbol instead of experiencing them as a fellow human being, we can justify doing anything to that person in the name of our ideology. Much is unfair in life, and there is much to be angry about. So what do we do with these feelings? Onto what do we latch these feelings? How do you try to right a wrong, abolish an unfairness? How do you seek justice, especially if those in charge either use brute force or language that disempowers and invalidates your cause and keeps you oppressed? These are difficult questions.

If what it takes to achieve justice for a cause is depersonalizing and committing violence to others, then we should not try to seek justice for our cause. To do so would then be to lose our humanity, and then no matter what supposed gains we have made would not matter. The following is a passage from "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl. "Under the influence of a world which no longer recognized the value of human life and human dignity, which had robbed man of his will and had made him an object to be exterminated (having planned, however, to make use of him first - to the last ounce of his physical resources) - under this influence the personal ego finally suffered a loss of values. If the man in the concentration camp did not struggle against this in a last effort to save his self-respect, he lost the feeling of being an individual, a being with a mind, with inner freedom and personal value." When life is utterly unjust we must struggle against losing our humanity. We must keep our self-respect. We must not depersonalize others as we have been depersonalized. When there is no justice to be found, there is freedom in the power of our imagination to create and find meaning in our lives. In Buongiorno, Notte, I believe that is similar to what Chiara's colleague at the library was trying to tell Chiara.

As far as the character of Chiara seeming too sweet and innocent to be a part of the killing and kidnapping, I bought it. I think people often start off innocently enough in a group like the Red Brigade. A group can start off doing legitimately good things, but then devolve into acts of violence. By that time an "innocent" person is thoroughly steeped in the language of the ideology and can feel a strong commitment to the group. This can be so much so that it can kind of blind people to real acts of atrocity in the name of an abstract "innocent" ideology. Maybe showing the group process of how this can happen would have been enlightening.

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Killakai and Urbancavewoman,


Thank you for your well written in-depth analyses.
I have not seen Buongiorno, notte, but I'll try to, it seems an interesting movie.

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I had the exact same problem, we know absolutely nothing about these people, we don't really understand why are they doing these things. The only real character was the one played by (the excellent) Maya Sansa.

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Ya I agree with killakai........the actors didnt have the intensity that I assume the original protagonists must have.
I think it would have been much more interesting to see how the cell formed and what made them so determined.














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I think we don't see the kidnapping because SHE doesn't see it either, except on TV, like us. Same goes for the group ideology and motivations. She knows why she is doing this, all her comrades know, they don't have to discuss it again, except of course with Moro, but that's the chief's job, so we only get glimpses of the excellent discussions going there, as she does. Some of her fierceness can be seen when she is discussing with the guy at the library, she doesn't look so sweet then.

Explaining their motives would have left room for justifying their acts, and Bellochio certainly doesn't want that, specially if he's telling the story from the bad guys' point of view

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Well, it would immediately set the tone, and I can imagine that that tone was exactly what the director didn't want. I think this film is perfect as it is.


"I don't discriminate between entertainment
and arthouse. A film is a goddam film."

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