When Night is Falling

1995
93.0'
CA
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  • October Films
Synopsis

When Night is Falling, Rozema’s torrid romance between a theology professor and a circus performer, has everything you could want: stars (Pascale Bussières, Rachael Crawford, and Henry Czerny, all delivering superbly), a coming-out narrative, an (underplayed) racial theme, even heteroeroticism between Bussières and her soon-to-be-abandoned fiancé that is almost as hot as the now legendary same-sex steamorama. Xtra! opined that Rozema’s “refusal to vilify the straight white men, will annoy those who prefer a simpler, less messy political spectrum” (28 April 1995). Not everyone’s cup of tea is Rozema’s tortured Calvinist triangle or her magic realism (from the laundromat to the big top and a frozen puppy that comes to life when love is reborn!), but all the elements come together so well that the seduction was almost universal. The Lesbian Film Guide effused, “Superb, captivating, tender, often funny and frequently beautiful… 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 … Unmissable” (Darren 2000, 219).

Premieres
May 5, 1996 (Theatrical Release)
Major prizes
Official Competition at the Berlinales (February 1995)