Acquainted With The Night is a documentary journey through the world after dark, from sunset to sunrise, illuminating nighttime phenomena, customs and rituals around the globe. The film is a tapestry of international character-driven stories that celebrate and explore how much we need the night – revealing the dark truths, beauty and dangerous consequences of a world that never sleeps. The film is 2011 GEMINI WINNER for Best Direction in a Documentary Program.
“… a dreamscape of color and sound that celebrates the dark and its effect on human nature.”
The clock dictates the stories as they change, hour by hour, from 6pm to 6am. Some stories are joined in progress; others begin in one hour and resolve in another. For instance:
7pm – a biologist brings us to the mouth of a cave as 20 million hungry bats emerge to feed near Austin Texas
9pm – Audubon volunteers monitor flocks of migratory birds attracted to the dramatic and powerful September 11 “Tribute in Lights” in New York
1am –night shift workers at the Bruce Nuclear Power Plant don special tinted glasses to help combat fatigue and reduce catastrophic mistakes
2am – a lone “night sky conservationist” measures light pollution in the Utah desert
3am – Japanese tourists gather on a frozen lake outside Yellowknife (at -40C!) for the world’s best view of the awe-inspiring aurora borealis
Acquainted With The Night presents inside stories of nighttime phenomena, customs and rituals from the perspective of scientists, biologists, laborers, truck-drivers, artists, cops and criminals – all whose work and lives are related to the night.
The underlying themes explored are environmental, biological and sociological — what really happens to a “city that never sleeps”? What are the effects of light pollution, on the natural world, on human behavior and health, and on the future of the planet? What thrills us and what frightens us about the world after dark? As the answers unfold with stories in Greece, France, Morocco, Nepal, USA, Canada and Mexico, we become intimately “Acquainted With the Night.”
Acquainted With The Night is inspired by the award-winning book of the same title by Christopher Dewdney. The film was written and directed by Michael McNamaraand produced by Judy Holm.
Run time: 80 minutes
Higher Education DVD + PPR, Higher Education DVD + PPR + Streaming License, K-12 and Nonprofit Groups DVD + PPR
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Michael McNamara was Born in Chicago and raised in the US, England and Windsor, Canada. He presently lives in Toronto where he works as a filmmaker, screenwriter and director. McNamara received a 2004 Gemini nomination for writing Radio Revolution – The Rise and Fall of The Big 8 (History Television Canada), which he also directed and narrated. The film, about legendary Windsor radio station CKLW, went on to win the 2004 Best History Program Gemini. His series of positive body image documentaries Flatly Stacked, Stacked Like Me and Penis Dementia: The Search for the Perfect Penis has been seen in over 40 countries. He wrote and directed Driven by Vision, a 17-part series on visionary outsider artists and won a Gemini for Best Direction in a Documentary Series. His feature documentary, 100 Films & A Funeral, about the rise and fall of PolyGram Films, won a Gemini for editing.