Giafranco Rosi, winner of the Golden Lion in Venice and the Golden Bear in Berlin, offers an immersion into the invisible wounds and the lights and shadows of a constant and endless war, filmed for three years in Iraq, Kurdistan, Syria and Lebanon. Civil wars, grotesque dictatorships, imperialist invasions, the savagery of Daesh ... We submerge ourselves in a space of horror that takes us beyond the physical territory of the Middle East to the point of losing our bearings. Where are we? Where does all this terror come from?
Rosi champions the tools of observational cinema, based on an intimate collaboration with the human beings who feature in his films to show the effects of a cycle of destruction that seems to never end. We don’t see any battles, but the wounds resonate in every image of the daily lives of the protagonists. Through careful observation we sense a spark of hope, weak but persistent, in those human faces marked by trauma and pain.
Rosi's method of patient observation allows him to make poetic connections across borders.— Simran Hans · Observer
Nobody with a sense for contemplative cinema will be left unsatisfied by Notturno.— Donald Clarke · Irish Times
It's an intensely considered curation of scenes: glimpses, perhaps, into a collective mind or soul.— Peter Bradshaw · Guardian