THE CITY DARK: A Search for Night on a Planet that Never Sleeps
The City Dark considers the question, “Do we need the dark?” With the advent of electricity one hundred and twenty years ago, humanity suffered a loss of darkness. In a personal and humorous lament for the stargazing of his childhood, director Ian Cheney (co-creator of King Corn) sets out to explore the spiritual and biological consequences of a lack of night in THE CITY DARK. With a host of scientific experts and philosophers, Cheney discovers an abundance of planetary changes, from baby sea turtle migration to humankind’s sense of place in the universe. Exploring the threat of killer asteroids in Hawaii, tracking hatching turtles along the Florida coast, and rescuing injured birds on Chicago streets, filmmaker Ian 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. THE CITY DARK is the definitive story of light pollution and the disappearing stars. It premiered at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival where it won the Jury Prize for Best Score/Music.
Discussion following the film will be led by members of the Greenbelt Astronomical Society. This month’s Reel and Meal is jointly sponsored by Beaverdam Creek Watershed Watch Group (BCWWG) and
The Astronomical Society of Greenbelt (ASG). For more information please contact Martha Gay (ASG) ( or Susan Barnett (BCWWG) .