Canadian Women Film Directors Database
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When Night Is Falling

Directed by Patricia Rozema
Canada, 1995 (fiction, 95 minutes, colour, English)
Also known as "Cuando cae la noche", "Gdy zapada noc", "Mikor leszáll az éj", "Quand tombe la nuit", "Quando a Noite Cai", "Wenn die Nacht beginnt"

Film Description [in French] :
"Ayant promis d'épouser un professeur de théologie, traditionnaliste (et blanc), Camille tombe amoureuse de Petra, une acrobate sulfureuse (et noire) qui travaille dans un petit cirque ambulant."
-- Marta Dvorak (source)

Film Description:
"Camille, a professor at a Protestant college, is engaged to Martin, a sympathetic minister and fellow professor. As 'career Christians,' they are urged to get married and to become co-chaplains of the New College of Faith. But Camille is vaguely unhappy with Martin and her life, and when her beloved dog dies suddenly, she begins to lose her grip. On the same day, in a laundromat, Camille meets Petra, a flamboyant circus performer, and is inexplicably attracted to her. Petra flirts brazenly with Camille. She draws her into the seductive world of the 'modern primitive circus.' The two become friends, then more. For the first time in her very proper and very intellectual life, Camille's desire comes rushing forward. [...]"
-- patriciarozema.com (source)


Film Credits (partial):
Written by: Patricia Rozema
Produced by: Barbara Tranter, Sandra Cunningham, Robert Lantos
Principal Cast: Pascale Bussières, Rachael Crawford, Henry Czerny, Don McKellar, Tracy Wright, Clare Coulter
Cinematography: Douglas Koch
Film Editing: Susan Shipton
Music: Lesley Barber
Production Company: Alliance Communications Corporation, Crucial Pictures, Ontario Film Development Corporation, Telefilm Canada
(sources)

Notes about When Night Is Falling

(sources)

Quote by the Director

"I wanted [Martin] to be a really decent human being because I didn't want to depict the cliché that a woman becomes a lesbian because her husband is terrible to her."
-- Patricia Rozema (source)

Quotes by the Director [in French]

"Ce film, pour moi, constitue une prise de position sur la normalité. C'est juste une autre histoire d'amour. Les personnages vont vivre le même genre de difficultés que s'il s'agissait d'un homme et d'une femme. Il n'y a pas de différence essentielle. La psychologie est la même. L'amour obéit toujours aux mêmes règles."
-- Patricia Rozema (source)

"Mes actrices devaient me faire confiance. À cause de la sensualité de certaines scènes, qui auraient pu faire craindre une certaine vulgarité dans le traitement. Je ne voulais pas de comédienne pudique, au sens juvénile du terme, et Pascale [Bussières] possède cette tristesse intérieure si touchante qui colore tous ses rôles."
-- Patricia Rozema (source)

Quotes about When Night Is Falling

"Rozema's camera work, mise-en-scène, humourous dialogue, and circus space combine to make When Night is Falling a lesbian love story that not only includes one of the most erotic love scenes I've seen but frames the growing passion between the women in a beautiful and fanciful setting."
-- Rhona J. Berenstein (source)

"Superb, captivating, tender, often funny and frequently beautiful, When Night Is Falling is like a lyrical poem, deeply felt and perfectly formed. Rich, vibrant colours, romantic images -- naked women swimming in clear blue water -- a dusting of snow, a half-moon and always the night just a moment away."
-- Alison Darren (source)

"[Patricia] Rozema achieved something quite remarkable with this film. In a decade when the New Queer Cinema almost demanded radical formal innovation, she chose to step in the opposite direction, opting for the warm comforts of narrative convention [...]."
-- Matthew Hays (source)

"In the solemnly romantic world of Patricia Rozema's film When Night Is Falling, erotic passion is as dizzying as doing cartwheels, as scary as hang gliding for the first time and as tricky to coordinate as a trapeze act."
-- Stephen Holden (source)

Quotes about When Night Is Falling [in French]

"Comment ne pas reconnaître cette douceur insidieuse de la lumière portée sur les visages féminins, cette dédramatisation des scènes de forte tension dramatique au profit des affrontements intérieurs, cette poétisation des couleurs qui fait passer du prosaïsme de la vie à l'idéalisme du rêve?"
-- Jacques Siclier (source)

"Camille, que Pascale Bussières interprète avec conviction (son premier rôle en anglais) est le personnage du film le plus développé, mais son passage de la fiancée raisonnable et conservatrice à l'amoureuse lesbienne passionnée s'avère pour le moins rapide. On ne sent pas suffisamment son déchirement intérieur ni le poids de son éducation."
-- Louise-Véronique Sicotte (source)

Bibliography for When Night Is Falling

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Newspaper or Magazine Articles

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