MoMA Presents

Valerio Zurlini’s Indian Summer

Feb 4–10, 2022


La prima notte di quiete (Indian Summer). 1972. Italy. Directed by Valerio Zurlini. Courtesy Films du Camélia
  • MoMA, Floor T2/T1 The Debra and Leon Black Family Film Center

Proof of vaccination is required for on-site film screenings. Learn more about visiting us safely.

Alain Delon gives one of the finest performances of his career in Valerio Zurlini’s La prima notte di quiete (Indian Summer), as we end this year’s To Save and Project on a high note with a weeklong theatrical run—the first ever in New York—of the unjustly overlooked filmmaker’s austere, tragic romance in its original, uncut Italian version. A failed poet, alienated from his wife (Léa Massari) and his demanding aristocratic family, Delon washes up in the seaside town of Rimini as a substitute high school teacher and seduces one of his students, the fragile and beautiful Sonia Petrovna. Zurlini was a director of uncommon intelligence and restraint, transforming the Rimini of Federico Fellini’s carnivalesque Amarcord into a purgatory of lost souls. The film’s title, possibly a Goethe verse that loosely translates as “Death, the first night of peace,” is one of Zurlini’s many thoughtful allusions—to Dante, Stendhal, and Piero della Francesca, among others.

Organized by Joshua Siegel, Curator, Department of Film, and Cynthia Rowell, independent consultant.

Electronic subtitling provided by Sub-Ti Ltd.

Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL.

Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Debra and Leon D. Black and by Steven Tisch, with major contributions from The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Karen and Gary Winnick, and The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston.


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].