Our Rating: ★★★★½
L Factor: Lesbian Film
Short Take: Conservative Camille falls in love with Petra, a circus performer. Will she leave her fiance and the life of a professor for her new love?
Alternate Titles:
Year: 1995
Duration: 93 min
Language: Canada/English
MPAA: R
Director: Patricia Rozema
Writer: Patricia Rozema
Starring: Henry Czerny, Pascale Bussieres, Rachael Crawford

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When Night Is FallingCamille (Pascale Bussières, La Repetition, La Turbulence des Fluides) seemingly leads a happy life. She is a successful professor at a conservative Christian college, and she and her fiance are being considered for the position of co-chaplains at the school. But when her dog Bob dies, Camille realizes that she cares more about her dog than Martin (Henry Czerny, ‘Further Tales of the City’), her fiance.

At this moment of doubt and decisions about her academic and personal futures, Petra (Rachael Crawford) walks into Camille’s life. When they meet in a laundromat, Petra ‘accidentally’ switches their laundry, including her card so that they will see one another again. As a magician in a traveling circus, her life and attitudes are quite different from the other woman’s experience.

Petra flirts aggressively. Camille is drawn to her. For the first time, controlled, proper Camille gives in to desire and passion. The love scenes are lushly erotic, awesome and intimate.

It is a very simple, familiar story. Which life should Camille choose – marriage and the expected, or literally run away with the circus? Unfortunately, the relationship unfolds within just a few days, and Camille comes to terms with her sexuality a little too quickly to be entirely realistic, with some unlikely dialog along the way. But writer/director Patricia Rozema (I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing) has created a sensual lesbian love story that is a favorite for many viewers.  (AB)