Writer-director Julia Loktev's (Moment of Impact) harrowing, claustrophobic thriller Day Night Day Night plunges the audience into the world of a suicide bomber just prior to her final, fatal act. As the film opens, a young woman (played by Luisa Williams) prays to an unknown, unspecified deity, then tucks away into a fleabag New Jersey motel room, when several hooded men arrive, arm her with explosives, and give her instructions to carry out. She then takes off alone, headed straight for Times Square, and making her way through clamoring throngs of real people -- any of whom could instantly become her casualties. Loktev strips away much of the external exposition, never revealing the central character's name, ethnicity, religious affiliation, or political background. The director thus forces the audience to focus, exclusively and unrelentingly, on the nature of the character's actions, and underscores the idea that terrorist motivations are, on some level, completely inconceivable to an outsider. Ironically, instead of turning the central character into a cipher and thus distancing her from the viewer, the film's stripped exposition terrifyingly draws the audience closer to the character. Josh Phillip Weinstein and Gareth Saxe co-star.
by Nathan Southern synopsis