After moving to New York City from rural Maine, filmmaker Ian Cheney asks: “Do we need the stars?” and “What do we lose when we lose the night?” This quest to understand how light pollution is affecting people and the planet explores the threat of killer asteroids in Hawaii, tracks hatching turtles along the Florida coast and investigates injured birds on Chicago streets. The film considers the myriad implications of a globe glittering with lights – including the possibility of increased breast cancer rates from exposure to light at night and a generation of kids without a glimpse of the universe above. It features stunning astrophotography and a cast of eclectic scientists, philosophers, historians and lighting designers, who weave together a tapestry of cutting-edge science with personal, meditative sequences reflecting on the human relationship to the sky.


Directed and produced by Ian Cheney.

The City Dark

2011 US 84 min
Festival Year: 2012
Types: Documentary