There is still tomorrow

There is Still Tomorrow: Italian Box Office Hit Sparks Dialogue on Domestic Violence

The black-and-white Italian film There is Still Tomorrow defied expectations and dominated the box office in late 2023. Its success lies in Paola Cortellesi’s performances, directorial debut, and unflinching portrayal of a bygone era where domestic violence still resonates today.

There is Still Tomorrow: A Cinematic Triumph by Paola Cortellesi

Cortellesi masterfully portrays Delia, a woman trapped in the bleak reality of postwar Rome. Married to Ivano, a man embodying the dominant male archetype of the time – obtuse, lazy, and violent – Delia navigates life as a mother of three. Her boys mirror their father’s behaviour, while her daughter’s education is brutally cut short by patriarchal decree. Delia toils away at various jobs to supplement the family’s meagre income, all while enduring Ivano’s oppressive presence. 

The deliberate black-and-white aesthetic adds a layer of intimacy and depth to Delia’s world. It’s a world devoid of vibrant colours, mirroring the lack of choices afforded to her.

Delia becomes a symbol for countless forgotten women of the mid-1900s. They are the backbone of society, raising children and managing the household while their husbands hold dominion at the table. They face hardships with resilience, existing in a world where their voices are silenced, and their rights are secondary. The film subtly explores the prevalence of domestic violence, both physical and emotional, a societal illness that transcends social classes.

There is still tomorrow - Paola Cortellesi in the role of Delia. [There is Still Tomorrow/Vision Distribution]. Copyright [2023]. All rights reserved

Beyond Delia’s experience, glimpses into other characters’ lives reveal this ‘cultural poison’ permeating all levels of society. Women, with the possible exception of a fruit vendor, are subject to the whims of their male counterparts. Ivano’s violence, whether inferred through haunting music juxtaposed with dancing or subtly suggested by a scene of daylight tax collection, is born from a deeply ingrained patriarchal mindset. 

Delia’s moment of liberation arrives unexpectedly in the form of a letter. This catalyst empowers her to break free from the oppressive system, forging a new path for herself and her daughter.

The film smashed box office records in Italy, becoming the highest-grossing domestic film in its opening weeks. It surpassed previous records by a significant margin, outperforming films like La Stranezza (€5.4m) and ranking ninth overall for 2023 despite competition from Hollywood blockbusters like Barbie (€32m). The film’s success extended beyond commercial appeal, winning the Audience Award, the Special Jury Prize, and recognition as Best First Opera.

There is still tomorrow

There is Still Tomorrow is a powerful film that celebrates courage, female empowerment, and the pursuit of freedom. Cortellesi’s light touch and emphasis on relatability make the film accessible to a broad audience, all while tackling weighty topics with respect and depth. The title itself embodies both hope and a crucial message – the liberation of women is a recent phenomenon, and the recent surge in violence against them highlights the fragility of this progress.

The film’s dedication to Cortellesi’s daughter is a potent reminder that the fight for equality continues. In 2023, 63 women were killed by partners or ex-partners in Italy. This demonstrates that although it depicts a bygone era, the film still offers valuable lessons that, unfortunately, remain relevant today.

“There is Still Tomorrow” serves as more than just a cinematic triumph; it stands as a poignant reminder of the enduring scourge of violence against women. Through the compelling portrayal of Delia’s struggle, we are confronted with the harsh realities of a bygone era, yet we cannot ignore the stark parallels to the present day.

As we reflect on Delia’s journey towards liberation, we are reminded of the countless women facing similar challenges today. The statistics are sobering, the stories heart-wrenching, but the message is clear: we cannot afford to remain silent in the face of such injustice.

It is incumbent upon each of us to stand in solidarity with those who suffer, amplify their voices, and demand meaningful change. Let us not forget that the fight for gender equality is far from over and that the time to act is now.

May “There is Still Tomorrow” catalyse action, inspiring us all to work towards a future where violence against women is but a distant memory. Together, let us strive for a world where every woman can live without fear, and every tomorrow promises a brighter, safer future for all.

Don’t miss your chance to experience this transformative masterpiece. Join us as we celebrate the triumph of the human spirit in “There is Still Tomorrow,” which will be coming soon to theatres across the U.K. starting April 26th.