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1,000 Times Good Night at the Milwaukee Film Festival

By: Joy O'Brien on Sep 16, 2014

Tags: MKE Film Festival (8)

Byte has been a regular supporter of the Milwaukee Film Festival, and this year we're proud to co-present 1,000 Times Good Night.

The film is about Rebecca Thomas (Juliette Binoche), a woman torn between two passions: the love she feels for her husband ("Game of Thrones" Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and two daughters at home in Dublin and the social responsibility she feels as a war photographer sent to conflict zones to capture the devastation experienced within them. When one assignment leaves her wounded, she is made to choose once and for all between her family and career. Director Erik Poppe captures both sides of this equation with humane generosity, composing stunning images of far-flung locales while allowing luminous performances from Binoche and Coster-Waldau to encapsulate the inner struggle that this ultimatum generates.

Though I haven't seen the film yet, its title gives another clue as to what it's about. Shakespeare lovers (or anyone who was made to read his work in school) might recognize "A thousand times good night" to be a quote by Juliet, from the play Romeo & Juliet. It's specifically from the balcony scene, when Juliet's nurse discovers her talking to Romeo and they're forced to say goodbye.


[Within] Madam! Juliet:
I come, anon.—But if thou meanest not well,
I do beseech thee— Nurse:
Madam! Juliet:
By and by, I come—
To cease thy strife, and leave me to my grief.
To-morrow will I send. Romeo:
So thrive my soul— Juliet:
A thousand times good night! [Exit above] Romeo:
A thousand times the worse, to want thy light.
Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books,
But love from love, toward school with heavy looks


Between the synopsis and the context of this quote, one can infer that a parallel is being drawn between Rebecca and Juliet. In that case, Rebecca's family is filling the role of the nurse, begging Rebecca to come back to safety, and her Romeo is the work she's willing to sacrifice everything for. But to what extent does the story of 1,000 Times Good Night apply this reference? Like Juliet, will Rebecca let her passions drive her to destruction, or will she finally put it to rest to return to the shelter of her family? I'm curious to find out.

Although I've never risked my life to create a website, I can relate to the struggle and reward that comes with the desire to do meaningful work. That drive to make a difference is one of the reasons I enjoy working at Byte. In any given day, I might help to bring healthy food to my neighbors, support the arts in public schools, or give our community unlimited access to knowledge & resources.

And I'm not alone-- I think the drive to make a positive change in the world is part of the human condition, and it's what makes 1,000 Times Good Night what looks to be such a poignant and vivid drama.


Showtimes / Locations:
Saturday, September 27 | 7:00 PM Times Cinema
Thursday, October 02 | 2:00 PM Landmark Oriental
Tuesday, October 07 | 1:30 PM Fox-Bay (Byte will be at this show, so come say hi!)


Milwaukee Film Festival