A Thousand Times Good Night is an Irish-Norwegian produced English language 2013 drama film directed by Erik Poppe, and starring Juliette Binoche, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Larry Mullen Jr. and Mads Ousdal.
Rebecca (Binoche) is a photo journalist obsessed with reporting in dangerous war zones. She documents a group of female suicide bombers in Afghanistan. She accompanies one of the suicide bombers to Kabul, where the premature detonation of the bomb severely injures her. While recuperating at her home in Ireland, she is confronted by her husband Marcus (Coster-Waldau) and her daughter Steph (Lauryn Canny), who force her to choose between covering war zones, or her family. She chooses her family.
Steph is intrigued by her mother's photographs and interested in humanitarian work in Africa, so Rebecca proposes a photography trip with her daughter to a refugee camp in Kenya. Marcus agrees, assuming that the trip will be safe. Instead, the camp is attacked by an armed group that begins murdering people in their tents. Rebecca sends her daughter to safety, but stays in the camp to document the attack.
Autobiographical elements in the film come from Poppe's work as a photo journalist in the 1980s, covering conflicts in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia. Most of the film was shot in Ireland and Morocco. Funding was provided by the Irish Film Board and Norsk Filminstitutt.
The film was produced by Finn Gjerdrum and Stein Kvae, while John Christian Rosenlund was lead photographer. A number of war-zone still images by photographers Marcus Bleasdale and Astrid Sehl, play an important role in the film.
The Hollywood Reporter called the film an "affecting drama made more poignant by honest-feeling autobiographical elements" and praised Binoche's "complex performance" as "deserving particular attention." Variety called the film a "gripping tale of a dedicated photojournalist torn between passionate involvement with her work and commitment to her worried family." The magazine went on to say, "Deftly sidestepping both melodrama and family-values messaging, Poppe imbues the film with enormous emotional resonance, brilliantly grounded by his leading lady...."
The Montreal Gazette criticized the film, writing that it was "hobbled by a rather scattershot script" that spouts "platitudes about journalistic duty and media complacency in the face of war," and that the film "engages in some very conventional family melodrama."
The film won the Special Grand Prix of the jury at the 2013 Montreal World Film Festival.