Last Featured: March 7, 2017
Light pollution keeps many of us from experiencing the vast canvas of stars that once inspired our myth-making ancestors. As our relationship with the night sky wanes, are we losing something vital?
If you step outside your home and look up at the night sky, what do you see? If you can count the number of stars or don’t see much at all, you’re not alone. For many Americans, light pollution keeps us from experiencing the vast canvas of stars that once inspired our mythmaking ancestors. As our relationship with the constellations wanes, are we losing something vital? This question drives The City Dark, a documentary from director Ian Cheney.
Instead of offering only science lessons, Cheney makes light pollution personal. He begins his story with his childhood home in rural Maine, a place where a boy could wander out on the lawn and feel the weight of the Milky Way above. Now in New York, a city blazing with electric light, Cheney is searching for the connection he once felt.
This wouldn’t be an astronomy documentary without Neil deGrasse Tyson—and he does lend his wisdom—but most enthralling are the average people and animals Cheney spotlights: a light bulb store owner in Hackensack, a Boy Scout leader, a bird collision monitor, and the Florida sea turtles who head towards the artificial light of beach towns instead of the ocean.
Heartbreaking, eye-opening, and relevant to us all.