Documentary - Completed 2010

"Acquainted With The Night" is a 90 minute journey through an “ideal” night, from sunset to sunrise, revealing the dark beautiful truths and dangerous consequences for a “world that never sleeps”.

    • Year of production
    • 2010
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • CANADA
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Michael MCNAMARA
    • Writer(s)
    • Michael MCNAMARA
    • Producer(s)
    • Judy HOLM (Markham Street Films Inc.), Michael MCNAMARA (Markham Street Films Inc.)
    • Synopsis
    • "Acquainted With The Night" traces a journey through an “ideal” night, from sunset to sunrise, in 90 minutes. The clock dictates the stories as they change, hour by hour, from 6pm to 6am. Stories of nighttime phenomena, customs and rituals from the points of view of 12 knowledgeable and engaging characters whose work, habits or practice are night related. 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? What are the effects on the future of the planet? These provocative behavioral, natural and environmental science questions are posed organically, as part of active stories, with no narration.
      6:00 pm - sunset watchers gather in Key West while in an old age home, Alzheimer’s patients experience symptoms of “Sundowning”.
      7:00 pm - 1.5 million bats pour out from beneath an Austin Texas bridge and hunt for food monitored by conservationist and bat-photographer Merlin Tuttle.
      8:00 pm – 400 pajama-clad children and parents sit spellbound in semi-darkness, for a theatrical performance of Children’s classic Goodnight Moon.
      9:00 pm - Thebe Medupe, an astronomer in Karoo, South Africa, connects the dots between modern astrological science and that practiced by bushmen.
      10:00 pm – The NYC Audubon Society monitors the powerful Tribute in Lights to the Manhattan victims of 9/11, after countless migratory birds were attracted and injured by them in 2004.
      11:00 pm - The New Zealand M_ori New Year is celebrated beneath the first World Heritage Starlight Reserve, a light pollution-free “national park in the sky”.
      12:00am – Two rival church congregations in Vrontados Greece traditionally fire thousands of rockets at each other with the objective of hitting the church bell towers on Easter Sunday.
      1:00 am –Johanne, driving an 18-wheeler from Tennessee to Toronto, is one of 13-Million night workers keeping patients alive, streets safe and freight moving. But at what price?
      2:00 am – Shiftworkers in a medical study wear yellow-tinted glasses to block wavelengths of artificial light deemed responsible for fluctuating hormone levels and disruptions to the internal clock,
      3:00 am - 20,000 testosterone-fueled young adults pour out of Toronto’s nightclubs at closing time, under a full moon, as 80 police officers attempt to keep the peace.
      4:00 am - The researchers at Kjell Henriksen Observatory, north of the Arctic Circle study the phenomenon of Aurora Borealis.
      5:00 am – Paris Artists create “late-night” work specifically for Nuit Blanche, the annual all night cultural festival.
      6:00 am - 92-year old storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham, while fishing in the Alabama swamps, explains how time here is measured by the “first sing” and the “second sing thanks to the phenomenon “false dawn” that fools even the birds.
      The Sunrise
      The sun rising, over and over again in all the locations of the preceding stories, ending our ideal night knowing things we never knew before, having been immersed in stories once obscured by darkness. We are now better Acquainted with the Night.
    • Partners & financing
    • documentary (Canada)
      ARTE France (France & Germany)
      YLE Teema (Finland)
    • Production schedule
    • Delivery scheduled in June 2010
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Apr 01, 2009