Tender and Poignant, Through The Night Is Part of AIFF’s Black Voices Series
Through the Night is a documentary as tender as it is painful; tender in the moments it captures at a daycare center, painful in the recognition of the parents’ stresses. Focused on a 24-hour daycare that provides for parents who work off-hours, often overnight shifts, the movie addresses one of the costly dividends of the American economy—that is, that many working class families and single-parents often need to resort to unusual work schedules which conflict with normal daycare hours. The film moves through days and seasons with adroit comfort; without needing to create any major dramas, the film is intensely gripping for its emotional hold—and tense for its contradictions, between the youthful zeal of the children and the weariness of the parents; and between the elderly couple that operates the daycare at their house, providing a sense of normalcy for other families while never having any real normalcy for themselves. Also noteworthy is the intimacy of the camerawork is remarkable, picking up close-ups and details during waking-up and going-to-bed routines. Released at Tribeca Film Festival last year, Through the Night is simply a smart documentary, and important, profound and empathic insight into what it means to be a working parent. Shown as part of Black History Month, through Ashland Independent Film Festival’s Black Voices series, Feb. 12 – 21.