Notturno (2020) - full transcript

Gianfranco Rosi's new documentary is an immersive portrait of those trying to survive in the war-torn Middle East.

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My son,

I feel your presence

in these windows, in these walls.

God has decided

I had to live without you.

The Turkish state is to blame,

they have had no mercy,
they have been ruthless.

Why did you leave me alone
with your kids?

My son,

this prison is for the wicked
and you were good.

I can feel your presence in this room,

I feel you as if you were

still on my breast and in my womb.

I thank God.

What has God done!

I feel your presence
by touching this wall.

I can feel your hands, I can touch you.

I am relieved, I can feel you.

As I touch the wall, I feel your blood.

My son, I would have
sacrificed myself for you.

My son, why didn't they take my life

instead of yours?

Why did they lock you up in here?

My son, you left these signs on the wall.

We weren't able to have a life together,

we weren't able to have a future.

You couldn't say goodbye
to your mother.

I can't feel your presence any more.

Here you were beaten.

Here you were tortured,

here's where they killed you...

Look at the sky, how beautiful.

- Soon it will rain.
- Yes.

God be praised.

It will rain on us.

Let it rain.

Is there anything
more beautiful than the rain?

- Cheers.
- To your heart.

My darling.

Where is it?

Give me the drum.


♪ There were six of us by the spring

♪ Then Marwa came, we became seven

♪ She asked me to kiss her, but I did not

♪ It's a sin on Fridays... ♪

♪ "Glory to He who created you,
Mohammad, and told you to be... ♪

♪ "And who gave you the dawn,
the figs and the olives... ♪

♪ "Halima when she saw

♪ "Mohammed's light rise

♪ "She leaned in to him and hugged him.

♪ "My God, bless the one named
before He was created... ♪

♪ "He is Mohammad
whose name shone in the sky..." ♪


My friends,

among all the patients here,

I chose you to work on this play.

This play talks about our Homeland

and talks about the crucial moments
for our countries.

The military coups,

the monarchy, the republic,

the tyranny, the wars,

the invasion, the occupation,
the extremists and ISIS.

All those things,

we've put them in this play.

We're going to work together

and if you are willing to work with me,
I'll be very happy.


Thank you very much.

I'm going to give you the scripts,
so we can start working.







This script was written
in keeping with your abilities,

it has been adapted for each of you.

Does anyone have any questions?

If you don't have any questions,

you can go off
and start memorising your lines.

"We will not die,"

"we will resist
and the Homeland will resist."

"For every martyr
who dies for the Homeland,"

"a thousand more will be born."

"We will not die, we will resist
and the Homeland will resist."

"For every martyr
who dies for the Homeland,"

"a thousand more will be born."

"I don't know,"

"I don't know why all these
distressful things are happening to us."

"I don't know
what will happen to you, my country,"

"due to ISIS, infiltrators
and corrupt governments"

"that placed the interests
of the foreigners above the local ones."

"I don't know your destiny, my Homeland."

"I don't know what the future will be."

"You too will have a God, my Homeland."

"We will not sell this Homeland."

"My brothers,
we will not sell this Homeland."

"The Homeland is calling us, it needs us."

"If we lose the Homeland,
we are all lost."

"This country has taken
the road of death,"

"the 'red death' awaits us."

"We can turn this page
like all the other pages,"

"but it will stay in our memories
for a long time."

"We're running and running,"

"we don't know where we're going
nor when we'll arrive."

"Everything is lost in this country."

"The foreign army entered the country
to liberate it, but they occupied it."

"The American invasion destroyed
every beautiful thing."

"The invasion caused"

"problems and the civil war."

"Neighbours started killing each other,
so many people were displaced."

"They were fleeing the country,
terrified by the slaughter."

"The streets swarmed with dead bodies,"

"car bombs, explosive belts."

"We lost all sense of safety,"

"terrorist organisations
infiltrated the country,"

"al-Qaeda and ISIS killed people
based on their ethnicity."

"They wanted to take the country
back to the Dark Ages,"

"they built a dark state,"

"where women were sold as spoils of war."

"Everything is lost."

"I expected a wonderful spring,
a spring of roses, peace and love."

"But it became a spring of wars,"

"a spring of people of the same
country killing each other."

"A spring of rubble and darkness,"

"a spring of governments seeking"

"to place their own interests
above those of the citizens."

"You too will have a God, my Homeland..."

This is your best performance.

At last.

Shoot, girl!




Fawaz, can you tell me
about your drawing?

This is when ISIS
started exterminating us.

People ran away from the village.

Those who didn't die

of starvation or from the heat,

ISIS blew up their homes.

They burned their villages,
tortured and killed people.

Where did you run to?

Up into the mountains.

- Were you in the mountains?
- Yes.

Did you see how all those people died?


Do you want to tell me about it?

It was very bad, teacher.

Breathe in deeply.

Breathe in slowly.


Breathe in...

..and then breathe out.

You are in a safe place now.

Not like the place in your drawing,

put that out of your mind.

You are in a safe place now.

All right?
Don't think about the bad things.

All right.

Think positively, think nice thoughts.

Breathe in, let all the bad thoughts go.

One more time.

Well done.

Teacher, this one is in Syria too.

Anyone who was seen crying

was told they would be killed.

Did they kill them?

They didn't kill them,
they were just threatening.

They put us on a bus...

..then they took us to a house

and they beat both of us, Muna and I.

They were covering
Muna's mouth like this...

while they hit her.

Do you still think about these things?

Yes, I do, often.

At night, are you able to sleep?

I am, but I can't sleep
until my mother does.

You need your mother
to fall asleep before you do?


The night scares me so much.

What happens to you?

I can't sleep because I am scared.

What do you think about?

I keep thinking of the ISIS men
killing all those women.

I keep thinking about it
and I get scared.

- Do you still remember those things?
- Yes.

- Are you scared that they will return?
- Yes.

When children were crying,
the ISIS men would hit them with a stick.

This is their blood.

- Who were they beating?
- The Yazidis.

- Where were they?
- What?

- Where were they?
- At the ISIS camp.

When you were there,
what else did you see?

When you were in the hands of ISIS.

I saw them torturing children
and burning the soles of their feet.

Why did they do that?

There wasn't any reason,

they would wake us up
early in the morning

and beat us.

They beat us like that, for no reason.

I do not know why.

What did they do to the women?

When the women tried to run away,

they would kick them.

We tried to escape

climbing over the fence.

One of the men caught us
and he took us back to the camp.

They took us back to the camp...

..they took our IDs and tore them up.

They hit us with electric cables.

- Electric cables?
- Yes.

What happened to you
when they hit you?

Teacher, it was very bad.

How did you feel? Were you scared?

- Could you tell me?
- I was scared and I was sad.

I would cry.

It was terrible.

They are the ISIS men,

I was afraid of all four of them.

They cut off people's heads

and killed the Yazidis.

They choked them.

These are the chopped heads
of the Yazidis.

And the ISIS men told us,
"Eat them up."

"Eat them up."

I saw ISIS men

burning Yazidis.

They are ISIS men,

they would blow up our temples
and our graves.

Here are their cars
going to the mountains

to capture people.

They would kill everyone they saw.

This is in Raqqa

and that man is an ISIS man.

These are Yazidi women...

..they chained them up.

They would tie up... their hands,

they would hit them

and hang them.

One of them

attempted suicide,

jumping from a building,

but she didn't die.

This is al-Baghdadi...

..he used to teach the ISIS men
how to kill the Yazidis.

"Good morning, people,"

"this is the last card
that I am putting in the ballot box."

"Let's see who will win the game."

Stop here.

"The game is over, we will know
the destiny of our Homeland!"

Ahmed, come in.


Say your lines.

"What's an election?
What's a democracy?"

"I'd rather have lived under the monarchy,"

"it was a very good period."

"There was safety, we had everything
and people were happy,"

"those were good days."

Mayade, come in.

"Which monarchy...?"

"Which monarchy
are you talking about?"

"They occupied us
and brought colonisation."

- Feudalism...
- "Feudalism and illiteracy."

"Even Palestine is lost."

With your hand, "Even Palestine..."

you wait for a moment... "Is lost!"

"Even Palestine... is lost."

"Which monarchy
are you talking about?

"They occupied us
and brought colonisation,

"they brought back
feudalism and illiteracy.

- "Even Palestine is lost."
- Very good.

Sound of the crowd.

- You too will have a God, my Homeland.
- Abbas, come in!

"Everyone, enough with this!"

"Enough with this
meaningless discussion!"

"Stop talking. Enough talking!"

"These discussions are worthless."

"Go back home!"

- Five dollars for the day?
- That's fine.

- What's your name?
- Alì.

Good boy.

My back hurts.


I'm always on the machine gun.

Do you like it?

Yes, I do, but, still,
I spend the whole day on it,

that's why my back hurts.

But you are the driver.

You go fast
and the vibrations are no good for me.

- I don't do that.
- Yes, you do.

- My back's been hurting since yesterday.
- Put a plaster on it.

- Something to ease the pain.
- I am not joking.

- You drive over the holes on purpose.
- No, I don't.

It is true something is changing,

ISIS is almost defeated,

but we Peshmerga must always

remain alert and ready,

because ISIS is still active
in many regions.

Two days ago, near Kirkuk,

they attacked Iraqi soldiers.

It's just a matter of time,

because if ISIS
is not completely defeated,

the situation will return
to how it was in 2014.

Mum, from this number,
I can send you audio messages,

but you must reply immediately.

This phone belongs to a woman,

be careful when you send messages,

'cause if I am not with her,

ISIS can hear you.

Answer immediately
after receiving my messages.

I swear, you don't know
how much I miss you.

I love you so much,
I don't have anyone except you.

I sent you those messages

and I hope God Almighty
will save you and guide you.

Mum, I really need your help,

send 500 dollars
or half a million dinars.

400 dollars will be enough,
I really need that money.

The ISIS man tells me,

"If your family wants
to buy you, I'll sell you."

How much can you pay for me?

Mum, I really want to see you.

Tell them to send the money.

I will speak only with your mother.

Send the money!

The ISIS man doesn't
want to talk to Uncle,

he will talk only with you.

He wants to negotiate just with you.
Just send the money.


Why are you crying?
Why are you hurting yourself?

You are destroying yourself.

If you die, how can we meet again?

If you act like this,
we will meet in the afterlife.

Purify your heart, try to be strong,

others have had their children
and their entire families taken away.

Fortunately they only took a few of us.

If your God really loved us,

He would not have done this to us.


they are moving us from this place.

I must delete these messages.

Don't worry

if you don't hear from me for a while.

I'm in Syria.

Mum, I would like
to send you some pictures,

but I fear they could find them

and then they will hurt me.

Forgive me, I am so scared.

Don't let the ISIS man
know we are in touch,

because he will kill me,

he will kill me.

"The government started shooting
demonstrators with real bullets."

"They say everything is fine,"

"but death has come back to us,"

"tear gas is killing people."

"They are suffocating
our young generation."

"We don't want to die,"

"we want to live in a country
where there is dignity."

"No to America, no to Iran,
now it's our turn."

"We don't want to die.
Long live our Homeland!"

"What brought all of you here?"

"You are only troublemakers."

"Everyone go home!"

Speak to the audience.

"You too will have a God, my Homeland."

"We don't know what happened."

"Is it a change,
an invasion or liberation?"

"I believe the country's problems
are calamities and endless pain."

"I don't know what the future will be"

"due to ISIS, infiltrators
and corrupt governments"

"that placed the interests
of the foreigners above the local ones."

"You too will have a God, my Homeland..."

Alì, wake up.

I heard the cars.

The hunters.

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