A Night of Knowing Nothing (2160x1023)
A Night of Knowing Nothing (2160x1023)
A Night of Knowing Nothing (2021) © Petit Chaos

ACMI presents

A Night of Knowing Nothing

Payal Kapadia | India, France | 2021 | Unclassified (15+)

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ACMI Member



Thu 16 May - Sun 26 May 2024

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Mysterious love letters from an unknown writer paint a disarming portrait of contemporary India in Payal Kapadia's beautifully poetic documentary feature.

A mysterious box is found in student accommodation at the Film & Television Institute of India containing personal items of someone who once lived there. Amongst the items is a series of letters from a university student – signing off each letter only as "L" – to her lover while he is away. At first, the letters hold a personal, intimate meaning, however soon they take on a startingly political significance.

Curator's Note

Payal Kapadia's stunning documentary feature debut begins as a quietly personal tale of lovers torn apart before transforming into something more articulate and pointed.

Her film merges fact and fiction with recurring dreams and memories, all pinned on a visual tapestry of archival footage, frontline reportage and quietly shot visuals which command the viewers' attention and astutely sign-posts them on an unexpected emotional journey

A Night of Knowing Nothing premiered at the 74th Cannes Film Festival in the Director's Fortnight section where it received the L'Oeil d'Or award for best Documentary. This year Kapadia returns to Cannes with her follow-up film All We Imagine as Light which shifts into narrative filmmaking.

– Reece Goodwin, Curator (Film & TV)

Format: DCP
Language: Hindi, Bengali, English & French with English subtitles
Source: Square Eyes
Courtesy: Square Eyes
Runtime: 99 mins

Event duration

99 mins


Unclassified (15+)

Viewers under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.


Cinemas, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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Cannes Competitors (Thu 16 May – Tue 28 May 2024)

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