The Night of All Nights (Hot Docs Review)

A relationship is a good thing to have, and it develops even further when it evolves into marriage. But marriage isn’t easy to maintain. At least that’s what I heard. There are many factors to keeping a successful marriage for a seemingly long time, and that’s what this documentary covers. Following the lives of many elderly married couples around the world, these people share their stories on what their marriage has been like since the beginning and is presently like.  These couples consisted of Hildegard and Heinz-Siegfried Rotthauser from Germany, Shigeko and Isao Sugihara from Japan, Kamala and Nagarajayya Hampana from India, and even a gay couple, Bill Novak and Norman MacArthur from US who had a more different approach, due to how same-sex marriage was shunned in the olden days so they adopted each other instead. Everybody talks about how their early lives have always been quite the struggle for them. 

Directed by the Şamdereli sisters (Nesrin Şamdereli and Yasemin Şamdereli) of Germany, this is one of the most amazing documentaries of all time, because it shows as couples advance through their age, they struggle to get along but something still somehow keeps them together. Interviews are genuine and give you a feel of the past. Inbetween we get treated to animation segments of the couples resembling bobbleheads as they live life together. The wide variety of landmarks gives a very international yet personal feel at the same time. Around the world, everyone speaks in different languages but somehow, marriages that go deep into long years tend to stay strong no matter what the hardships. Some of the greatest stories about marriage I have heard since ever are in this documentary, and it’s pieced together in an interesting fashion.

Entertaining, heartwarming, and possibly relatable to elderly couples, this film was a big hit at Hot Docs in Toronto this year. Keep an eye out for it, as I enjoyed it a lot despite not being married, and it really does make people think hard about love.

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