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Film / Day Night Day Night

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A 2006 drama written & directed by Julia Loktev. The film follows a young woman for the titular amount of time, who arrives by Greyhound bus near New York, so that she can carry out a suicide bombing in Times Square.

Tropes found in this film include:

  • Affably Evil: Of the Well-Intentioned Extremist variety, although we don't know anything about their intentions other than that they plan to suicide bomb Times Square with a backpack full of nails.
  • As You Know: Averted harder than nearly any other movie.
  • Big Applesauce: The setting.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The main character is extremely polite. The rest of the group don't come across all that different, although they decline to answer one of her questions after asking if she has any and conferring among themselves.
  • Blatant Lies: When she's asked if she wants to notify her parents, she replies that her parents are dead. Later she makes a collect call to people who are presumably her parents, who she appears to have told that she was in Chicago rather than New York.
  • Blindfolded Trip: How she is transported to pick up the bomb from the bomb-maker. She also puts on a blindfold before other members enter the room so they can put on ski masks once inside.
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  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: The unnamed terrorist group, with members of all races, sexes and even a deaf man.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Guess over what period of time the movie takes place.
  • Fashion Show: A somewhat comical mock-example in her hotel room. Rather than trying to look striking, she is putting on outfits to look as inconspicuous as possible in order to carry out the attack.
  • Five-Token Band: Not only are there white, black and Asian members of the group, there's even a deaf bomb-maker translated by a woman with an Irish accent (which is itself not shared by any other group member). At that point it's practically lampshading how diverse the group is.
  • Motive Misidentification: When praying, she asks "How can I know my motives are pure?" and notes "They'll think it's for him". There's never any other reference to "him" or who he may be. She states "It has to be for you, not for them", which may refer to the unnamed group she's working with, but what their agenda is or how hers might differ is never examined.
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  • No Name Given: None of the characters are named. The protagonist is credited as "She", although she is given a fake identity to use. When she makes a collect call, instead of recording her name she just says "It's me".
  • Post-9/11 Terrorism Movie: And taking place in Manhattan, no less. Although it was inspired by stories of female Chechen terrorists, including details like a suicide bomb failing to go off, stopping to buy food before carrying out the attack ("This film is about the bananas" per Loktev), and modeling nondescript clothes to carry out the attack for the rest of the group (which was enough of a hassle to make one Chechen woman call the whole thing off).
  • Sarcastic Confession: When someone asks what's in her heavy backpack, she jokingly (but truthfully) replies "A bomb" and is chastised for making that sort of joke.
  • Stage Whisper: Averted. Subtitles are essential to understand what she's saying when she's talking to herself/God.
  • Suicide Attack: She's promised that she won't feel anything more than a pinprick when it goes off. However, the "suicide" part may be at least as important as the "attack" part to the rest of the group: she's told to execute the plan if she thinks she may be discovered even if there's nobody else around, and when she asks what would be the point of that, she gets no answer.
  • Terrorists Without a Cause: The group make a propaganda video before their attack is to be carried out, but we never actually see what statement they had prepared for it, and the diverse nature of the group was deliberate on the part of the filmmaker to obscure any presumption on the part of the audience as to what their motivation might be.
  • Villainous Break Down: When the bomb fails to go off despite her repeated attempts, she is completely despondent, looking up tearily to the sky and asking God "Why don't you want me?"
  • Villain Protagonist: The unnamed "She" onscreen the whole movie, plus nearly every other significant character.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Perhaps the bulk of the movie. She doesn't want to miss her last chance for snacks before blowing herself up. The clothes shopping was already done for her, although she tries the various outfits on for the judgment of the group.
  • Western Terrorists: Some, but not all of the group (presumably including the ethnically ambiguous protagonist). They're a very mixed bunch, and we don't know their motivation.
  • Where's the Kaboom?: The bomb fails to go off, and her attempts to contact the rest of the group (who made sure they couldn't be traced back from her in case she was caught) also fail. At one point she resorts to banging her backpack against a streetlight in frustration.