Films & Schedules

  • The Rest of the Night
    Il Resto della notte

  • Francesco Munzi

Italian, Romanian
101 minutes

Production Company:
Biancafilm/ Rai Cinema
Donatella Botti
Francesco Munzi
Production Designer:
Luca Servino
Vladan Radovic
Massimo Fiocchi
Stefano Campus
Giuliano Taviani
Principal Cast: Sandra Ceccarelli, Aurélien Recoing, Stefano Cassetti, Laura Vasiliu

International Sales Agent:
Films Boutique

Friday September 0509:30PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 3 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Saturday September 0603:30PM AMC 5 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Wednesday September 1009:00PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 3 Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Questions surrounding the arrival of new immigrants are of key concern in many European countries these days. Italy has produced a spate of films on this topic, and The Rest of the Night is certainly one of the best. Like many of the films on this theme, it features Romanians as an example of the societal “outsider.”

The story begins with a well-to-do middle-class Italian family. When a piece of jewellery disappears, suspicion immediately falls on their maid, a young Romanian woman. At least, the wife of the family feels this way. Her husband is not convinced and her daughter adamantly believes her mother is wrong. But the matriarch wins out, Maria is let go despite the daughter's protestations, and life moves on. Finding herself unemployed in a strange country, Maria is forced to rely on her wits and instincts for survival. She returns to her community, a ragtag group of immigrants struggling to survive in their new European reality. Maria has escaped a troubled relationship with another Romanian, but with few options left, she decides to return to see what this might offer. Ionut, who has recently done jail time, is angry and alienated. Initially suspicious of the woman who left him, he nevertheless succumbs, despite the skepticism of his younger brother.

Meanwhile, Maria's former employers are facing their own troubles as they set about getting on with their lives. Although their challenges are vastly different from those in Maria's new life, and despite the fact that the Italian and the Romanian realities depicted are uncoupled, their lives are destined to intersect again.

Francesco Munzi has a convincing eye for the details of both lifestyles, and his camera preys on these particulars to etch a series of indelible moments into the story. He never shrinks from the controversy inherent in the material, bravely tackling an issue of increasing urgency while eschewing any neat and tidy morality. Life is messy, and though there may ultimately be no right or wrong in what transpires, we are given a cool, precise and dramatically effective introduction to an issue of contemporary concern.

Piers Handling

Francesco Munzi was born in Rome and studied filmmaking at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. After making several short films and documentaries, he made his feature filmmaking debut with Saimir (04). The Rest of the Night (08) is his second feature film.

Cadillac People's Choice Award