When Night is Falling is directed and written by Patricia Rozema. She was raised in a very religious household. The preceding statement is mentioned because the film is written in such a way that the director/writer allows her character more freedom than the discipline employed with regard to a strict religious upbringing. Each of the Rozema films is about younger women who realize their inner-most wants and longings. We can only imagine that Patricia relates with the characters which she has created.
The director's first film was: "I've Heard the Mermaids Singing". The storyline was about a youngish Canadian woman living in the sophisticated city of Toronto. The woman has dreams of becoming a photographer. She works for a very cosmopolitan mature woman who manages a gallery. The youngish character in "I've Heard the Mermaid Singing" puts the mature woman running the art gallery on a pedestal. She discovers some surprising truths about the mature woman: the gallery art dealer is not happy with settling in way of running the establishment. She would have much rather been "the artist." This insight is among other discoveries, the young character makes with regard to the older woman. That movie by Rozema is short of total genius: it appears initially to be about the young woman; however, is just as much about the art dealer.
Next: Rozema writes and directs "Night is Falling". This film is also about a youngish woman. The young character is a college professor. The professor is located in the city of Toronto and practices her professional academic occupation at a Protestant theological college. The young college professor is named Camille. (She is played by Pascale Bussieres.) The young woman is from the Canadian city of Quebec. She is engaged to another professor; his name is Martin. (Camile's spouse-to-be is played by the actor Henry Czerny.)
Camille meets, one day at the Laundromat a woman her same age named Petra. (Petra is played by actress: Rachael Crawford.) The women develop a friendship.
Petra's character, suffice it to say is a "little outside of the box" for a provincial movie patron. Petra is part of a circus group. She is a juggler of light. She also lives in a mobile home which is decorated like the environmental establishment of a hippie who sells wares out of it. She is first introduced in a leather outfit. She also wears other highly eclectic artsy type of apparel. The costuming makes it clear to the audience that she is very, very eclectic if not a little eccentric in nature: very much outside of the mainstream. She offers Camille the idea of possibly escaping her mundane religious professional life; and joining the circus.
Petra is full of surprises. When Camille meets up with Petra a second time; Petra takes Camille hang-gliding. During the two women's out-of-the-ordinary get-togethers the relationship with Camille's fiancÚ is becoming more and more uncomfortable or "stressed." She is also acting just a little more than strange around the college president, Reverend DeBoer, (played by actor David Fox).
Martin eventually finds out about Camille's unique friendship with Petra by way of a photo. He also validates the friendship of the two women while watching them through the window of Petra's mobile home. Petra has established a superficial end to the relationship: as soon as she leaves town with the circus.
The details of the story may seem a bit awkward to some. It is certainly eccentric and out-side-of-the-box: and best seen by mature individuals with open minds.