We discuss for you … Esterno notte, the kidnapping and murder of Aldo Moro

We discuss for you … Esterno notte, the kidnapping and murder of Aldo Moro

In Esterno notte, a frighteningly powerful miniseries, Marco Bellocchio looks back on a case that continues to be a major trauma in Italy.

What is Esterno Notte? In 1978, the left-wing extremist armed organization the Red Brigades waged a full-fledged war of terror against the Italian state. Council leader and president of the Christian Democrats, Aldo Moro (Fabrizio Gifuni), has nevertheless managed to reach an agreement that could change the situation: a government of national unity between his party and the Communist Party. But on March 16, Moro was kidnapped in the middle of the street by a Red Brigade commando. He will be confiscated for fifty-five days. Fifty-five days of hope, fear, negotiation, political shenanigans… and betrayal. After 55 days, his body is found in the trunk of a car in the heart of Rome.

It is a great trauma in the history of Italy that Marco Bellocchio returns to. Again because after his movie good morning night In 2003, the director told us about the Aldo Moro affair in the form of a mini-series, named after the President of the Council who was kidnapped and executed by the Red Brigades in 1978. A direct attack on a democracy at the heart of Europe and a horrifying and controversial story in all its aspects. Screened out of competition at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, the series can be seen on ARTE (which she co-produced). outside night will be broadcast in France; The 6 episodes will be available on Arte.tv from March 8th and will then be broadcast on the channel on March 15th.

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good morning night told Moro’s imprisonment from the perspective of a member of the Red Brigades. Twenty years later, does Bellocchio still have anything to say on the subject? Yes, of course. Because this time, over six hour-long episodes, outside night expands the lecture to include everyone who was involved in one way or another. It’s a fresco, of a kind Rashomon where each episode focuses on the experience of one of the actors in the affair (the politicians, Moro’s wife, the members of the Red Brigades, Pope Paul VI…) And the title change is revealing: good morning night told Moro’s detention “from inside” the apartment where he was being held; outside night tells the actions and reactions of the protagonists in the “outside”.

Aldo Moro, victim of the Red Brigades

Bellocchio relies on an impeccable cast. Margherita Buy is great as Eleonora Moro; Toni Servillo is fantastic in the role of Pope VI; The same applies to Fausto Russo Alesi in Cossiga and Fabrizio Conti in Andreotti. But brilliant as they are, all are overshadowed by a truly stunning Fabrizio Gifuni. He becomes a larger-than-life Aldo Moro, so stunning that sometimes we can’t tell whether we’re looking at the actor or archival footage. At this stage it is not even an interpretation anymore, but a true reincarnation.

Nevertheless, outside night is not the story of Aldo Moro. Or at least not exclusively: it is also the story of everyone else. The first episode serves as an introduction by providing the political context. As the country is plagued by urban guerrilla riots, assassinations, killings and kidnappings orchestrated by the far-left Red Brigades group, Moro, thanks to his political savvy and after many efforts, has managed to forge a compromise between the Christian Democrat party and the Communist Party, to the chagrin of the extremists. But on March 16, 1978, when a government of national unity was about to be formed in Parliament, Moro was ambushed and kidnapped by the Red Brigades.

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From there, the series spirals, constantly revolving around the 55 days of imprisonment that we see through the eyes of politicians (Andreotti and Cossiga, the Minister of the Interior), the Mrs. de Moro, his friend Pope Paul VI and a member of the Red Brigades involved in the kidnapping. Before the last episode and the horrific end of the affair: the discovery of Aldo Moro’s body in the trunk of a parked car in the heart of Rome… exactly halfway between the seats of the Democratic Party and the Communist Party.

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Pope Paul VI and Eleonora Moro, two of the protagonists of the case

outside night is a meticulous series that takes the time to dissect its subject matter in almost every aspect without ever being boring or redundant. Also a dark series, both thematically and atmospherically – even the scenes in broad daylight take place in semi-darkness, under a blanket of darkness. And as so often, Bellocchio likes to play with symbolism and with a dreamlike dimension: the opening scene is a kind of fantasy in which he imagines Aldo Moro found alive and hospitalized after his release, other scenes refer to Dante or MacBeth, the Calvary of Moro takes on the air way of the cross with all the images of Christ.

But the series is above all a “I blame” uncompromising. Because when everything seems to be done to secure Moro’s release, things are much darker and even more perverse behind the scenes: lies, the unspoken, power struggles, media manipulation, double-dealing, interference by the US (who, in the context of the Cold War, denied the hoping for and even facilitating the death of Moro…), pathetic attempts by Paul VI to intervene despite Vatican opposition, vile maneuvers by smug, cowardly or hypocritical politicians… (Cossiga or Andreotti take full Gu…) A spiteful reproach made in Italy Inevitably, several politicians rebelled against Bellocchio, who in the end condemned the Red Brigades almost less than the Christian Democrat party headquarters at the time.

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A masterful fresco that combines dramatic narrative with analysis and an uncompromising denunciation of all of Italian society and the political class, Esterno Notte addresses the national trauma of Aldo Moro’s kidnapping and subsequent assassination. Twenty years after Buonrgiorno, Notte Bellocchio offers us a powerful series on the same theme, once again turning the years of lead into gold.

outside night
6 episodes around 60′.
March 8th on Arte.tv and March 15th on Arte.