The City Dark Reviews

  • Feb 28, 2015

    Great film. My only complaint is the film's failure to shine light on our flawed love of and sense of safety attached to excessive outdoor illumination. There has been a great deal of research that poor quality and unnecessary lighting not only wastes ~10% of our electricity production (or like 25% of our coal consumption) while such lighting is in fact counter-productive to it's purposes. Studies not only reveal that people actually feel less safe in over-lit rather than optimally-lit nighttime environments, but also that always on security lighting seems more likely add to crime rather than deter it* as glare and dark shadows actually make it harder to see hiding criminals while it gives them plenty of light to work by. The film's primary illustrations of nighttime lighting's damage to our health as well as the grave threats it poses to birds and sea turtles should simply be the icing on the unmade argument for lighting based on optimizing human vision rather than the wasteful absurdity we currently live with. The opportunity was lost when Cheney does a ride along and a dark lot is pointed out as possibly hiding criminals, there is a failure to mention that the lot's relative darkness is only a function of human vision's limitations combined with overly bright glare producing street lighting making it impossible to see what might otherwise be perfectly visible. The film affirms the emotional response to how the lighting of an urban neighborhood made residents feel safer without pointing out that the flawed lighting makes that sense of safety merely an illusion. *The evidence against always on security lighting is fairly strong, but the sample sizes are never comprehensive enough. A look at when Florida and California schools stopped lighting their campuses overnight after the 2008 financial collapse induced budget crisis, vandalism dropped by 1/3, in a time with a spike in unemployment.

    Great film. My only complaint is the film's failure to shine light on our flawed love of and sense of safety attached to excessive outdoor illumination. There has been a great deal of research that poor quality and unnecessary lighting not only wastes ~10% of our electricity production (or like 25% of our coal consumption) while such lighting is in fact counter-productive to it's purposes. Studies not only reveal that people actually feel less safe in over-lit rather than optimally-lit nighttime environments, but also that always on security lighting seems more likely add to crime rather than deter it* as glare and dark shadows actually make it harder to see hiding criminals while it gives them plenty of light to work by. The film's primary illustrations of nighttime lighting's damage to our health as well as the grave threats it poses to birds and sea turtles should simply be the icing on the unmade argument for lighting based on optimizing human vision rather than the wasteful absurdity we currently live with. The opportunity was lost when Cheney does a ride along and a dark lot is pointed out as possibly hiding criminals, there is a failure to mention that the lot's relative darkness is only a function of human vision's limitations combined with overly bright glare producing street lighting making it impossible to see what might otherwise be perfectly visible. The film affirms the emotional response to how the lighting of an urban neighborhood made residents feel safer without pointing out that the flawed lighting makes that sense of safety merely an illusion. *The evidence against always on security lighting is fairly strong, but the sample sizes are never comprehensive enough. A look at when Florida and California schools stopped lighting their campuses overnight after the 2008 financial collapse induced budget crisis, vandalism dropped by 1/3, in a time with a spike in unemployment.

  • Dec 21, 2014

    : An enlightening ode to the power of the night sky and its inevitable passing if nothing changes. This is a movie all civil engineers and city planners should see.

    : An enlightening ode to the power of the night sky and its inevitable passing if nothing changes. This is a movie all civil engineers and city planners should see.

  • May 26, 2014

    Now I want to take a trip to the darkest part of the US to star gaze and take photos. This was great for a little story about light. Should've touched more on lights relation to color.

    Now I want to take a trip to the darkest part of the US to star gaze and take photos. This was great for a little story about light. Should've touched more on lights relation to color.

  • Apr 03, 2012

    Well done overall. Excellent documentation of effects on human health, star visibility, and wildlife. Would have preferred to see information on the carbon footprint involved in using all that extra energy.

    Well done overall. Excellent documentation of effects on human health, star visibility, and wildlife. Would have preferred to see information on the carbon footprint involved in using all that extra energy.

  • Feb 16, 2012

    Charmingly low key in its activism with delightful original soundtrack and naive style animations against the timelapse video of the night sky.

    Charmingly low key in its activism with delightful original soundtrack and naive style animations against the timelapse video of the night sky.

  • Jan 13, 2012

    Saw an early viewing at the Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival, and it was great and thought provoking. This movie shows you the impacts of light pollution on animals, the stars, and people. The evidence for light pollution and cancer was very compelling.

    Saw an early viewing at the Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival, and it was great and thought provoking. This movie shows you the impacts of light pollution on animals, the stars, and people. The evidence for light pollution and cancer was very compelling.