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Bright Night (2014)

Nachthelle (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, Mystery | 25 December 2018 (Norway)
Two couples visit a home from their past, and sexual tension brings out the worst in each other. Long-buried grudges resurface.


Florian Gottschick


Florian Gottschick (screenplay), Carsten Happe (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Anna Grisebach Anna Grisebach ... Anna
Vladimir Burlakov ... Stefan
Benno Fürmann ... Bernd
Kai Ivo Baulitz ... Marc
Gudrun Ritter ... Frau Steiner
Ines Buchmann Ines Buchmann ... Double Anna
Ursel Stoye Ursel Stoye ... Trauernde
Michael Gwisdek ... Herr bei Trauerfeier / Lord at funeral
Holger Franke Holger Franke ... Totengräber #1
Peter Gottschick Peter Gottschick ... Totengräber #2
Marcel Lehmann Marcel Lehmann ... Totengräber #3 (as Marcel 'Larry' Lehmann)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carsten Happe Carsten Happe ... Extra


A swingers tale: A relaxing weekend in the country doesn't go quite as planned for two German couples. Anna, around 40, and her much younger boy toy, Stefan, have come to the former's quaint childhood home, tucked away in a lush, green forest in former East Germany. An old friend of Anna's, Bernd, is already at the cottage with his boyfriend of many years, Marc. The two couples are all set to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and each other's company over a long summer weekend. But like the open-pit mine activities that are happening nearby and sending unexpected small quakes throughout the region, there are things in Anna's and Bernd's past that start to influence the present, beginning with the revelation that Anna and Bernd used to be not only classmates but also lovers. Written by lament

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Drama | Mystery


Unrated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

25 December 2018 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

Bright Night See more »

Filming Locations:

Germany See more »


Box Office


€0 (estimated)
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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Käfer aufm Blatt
Lyrics and Music by Dirk Zöllner
Performed by Benno Fürmann and (uncredited) Anna Grisebach
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User Reviews

Intriguing but with some let down's on the way
24 April 2016 | by Rodrigo_AmaroSee all my reviews

Two couples spending some time visiting a country house from their past, sharing more than just stories from an old time but also bringing back to surface bitter memories, passions, curiosities, sexual tension and much more. First couple is Anna (Anna Grisebach) and Stefan (Vladimir Burlakov), who are buying the house from the second couple Bernd (Benno Fürmann) and Marc (Kai Ivo Baulitz). Fact is that Anna, at one time, was deeply involved with Bernd when they were teenagers; she was his first true love but something happened on the way, best leave out. In between nice dinners and lovely breakfasts, the present always finds a way to bring something dark and broody about the past; and during this minor chaos, Marc audaciously flirts with the clueless Stefan, paying no mind that his boyfriend is seeing (as later we discover, they have an open relationship). If from all that it seems the film has nowhere to go, well, it is actually. What triggers us in seeing is mostly to see how this quartet are going to survive through the weekend without killing each other or if the couples will indeed trade; there's some strange occurrences going on with objects falling and muddy footsteps to shake those characters nerves, and it'll get revealed in the end.

Writer/director Florian Gottschick and his co-writers created something good despite the uncountable clichés. It's a thoughtful drama that reveals how frail yet strong human relations are. Yet another story of the paradox of life. I didn't find that love was an important aspect of the film, or better saying, didn't find the characters were honest when they kept saying they loved each other (not blaming the actors, they're good. The lines as written weren't convincing), I didn't buy their love mostly being the light reflected in their partners eyes instead of actions - though Stefan seems the one who cares the most about the annoying Anna, he's genuine despite the naivety of youth, after all he's the youngest member of the quartet and the one who knew little about his own partner. In terms of displaying seduction, lust or just sex, the movie succeeds a little more. What bothered me is that a movie so open and frank about sexuality issues decides to portray the intimacy of a gay couple only through sounds while the straight is there for everyone to see (and no, the foursome scene from the poster is just for show. Beautiful photograph, but weirdly filmed when the moment came).

"Bright Night" has plenty of gripping elements that will generate the interest of the audience (the one who tends to like quiet moments and plenty of dialogs). What blocks the movie from reaching its full potential is the almost silly third act, as if taken from "Inception". Sure, this is the kind of film where odd things happen all the time, its expected to get those slightly unusual story treatments but those close to the edge scenes with Anna getting back in time seeing things from a difference perspective was just wrong. In fact, seeing most of the movie through her perspective is quite painful since she doesn't generate any kind of sympathy, she's filled with prejudice and tries to be thoughtful about everything. Had Bergman or Polanski writing this kind of story, they'd make something revealing (the setting is perfect, the house location), and they would use dream-like imagery or symbolisms that wouldn't affect the film's progress.

Whatever the case, the problems with "Bright Night" aren't bigger than its qualities. There's some good acting, it's very involving and the more stories the characters share about their past the more fascinating the film gets, it's all very intriguing, just losing the step at the final moments. Positively enjoyable, almost no harm. Gottschick just need to learn to widen his vision to present things, elaborate better scenarios and stick with the tension. 8/10

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