Documentaries with a point of view

Discussion Guide

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The City Dark is a feature documentary about light pollution and the disappearing night sky. After moving to light-polluted New York City from rural Maine, filmmaker Ian Cheney asks, “Do we need the dark?” The film develops out of his search for an answer to that question.

Exploring the threat of killer asteroids in Hawaii, tracking hatching turtles along the Florida coast and rescuing injured birds on Chicago streets, Cheney unravels the myriad implications of a globe glittering with lights — including increased breast cancer rates from exposure to light at night, and a generation of kids without a glimpse of the universe above.

Featuring stunning astrophotography and a cast of eclectic scientists, philosophers, historians and lighting designers, The City Dark is a story of light pollution and the disappearing stars. The film asks viewers to stop and ponder what light, darkness and the stars mean to us, spiritually, physically, intellectually, socially and economically.

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