Reviews of Night on Earth (2020) and related work

Night on Earth (2020Moving picture, 4.8 hours)

Seen in 2020.

The concept of a night-time nature documentary using multiple different contemporary technologies is not a gimmick. It’s put to good use, but narrator Samira Wiley—Moira in The Handmaid’s Tale (2017)—invests a little too much eartnestness and emphasis. This is partly the usual US overdramatization of nature, commensurate with needlessly interleaved narratives through each episode, but the precise way Wiley does it adds a curious personal touch. The jungle episode makes her approach locally appropriate, the superior water episode less so.

moving picture non-fiction nature series

“Shot in the Dark” (2020Moving picture, 59 minutes)

Seen in 2020.

Even here, in the documentary about the making of the documentary, the narratives are still interleaved, and Wiley is still pushing.

moving picture document non-fiction