I remember when I was rather young, I saw a small fragment of some movie my older siblings were watching. Bear in mind that, as I describe it, some of it is only what I remember my brother telling me about it. It may be misremembered, I may be conflating things, he may have been teasing an impressionable little kid, but I will relay to you what I seem to recall him telling me, as well as the brief scene I actually witnessed.
My brother told me that this movie takes place on a planet that orbits several (seven? ten? can’t remember) stars, and as a result, they only experience night every few centuries. Knowing that another night is pending, the people become frightened, for none of them has ever lived through night. In order to avoid this upcoming horror, a woman elects to go through some ritual where…
I remember seeing this:
…a mask is placed over her face, leaving only her eyes exposed. She is laid upon a bed, next to where two birds are perched. With a man apparently leading the ritual and a crowd looking on, the birds begin to peck her eyes out! She moans and cries, but eventually, the dreadful deed is done, her mask removed by the assistants, and she is seated up, eyelids open, empty sockets exposed.
Imagine how this frightened a young boy. The movie seemed to have generally earthly technology and clothing, even possibly ancient in appearance, and the people looked very human, making me doubt my remembered background. It looks like it was probably filmed in the 70s or maybe 80s, but I can’t say that with certainty either. Any ideas? Or is the whole thing a concocted memory?
I finally figured out what movie this is: Nightfall, a low budget adaptation of an Isaac Asimov story. My memories were not flawless, but I am surprised how much I got right.