Through the Night is an endearing love letter to essential workers and single mothers in the form of a documentary film.
The story focuses on a New York daycare center, open 24 hours, run by Deloris, or "Nunu," and her husband Patrick Hogan. The daycare is a safety net for many working families, especially single mothers, who struggle to make ends meet on top of the difficult task of raising children. Especially with Americans working longer hours across multiple jobs, 24-hour daycare centers are beginning to flourish.
The progression of time in the film is very easy to follow. For example, in one scene a mother and her children wear Halloween attire with jack-o-lantern tattoos, and later, there is an event where several people wear turkey hats, which helps to distinguish October from November. Some scenes in the middle of the film that discuss the struggles of being a single mother feel slightly repetitive, even though that's somewhat understandable. The variety of locations and situations brings more color into this documentary, and emphasizes the message of this story. Each interview is purposeful and ties into the flow of the documentary seamlessly.
My favorite part is the music which helps set the somber, but ultimately hopeful, tone of the film, while not overpowering the voices and sound effects. The camera angles also help convey the intimate, artistic style of the film, and so the audience feels immersed in the film, as if watching the events unfold in front of them. Lastly, the text effect used to show Patrick's message to the other daycare workers is visually pleasing and effectively communicates the gravity of the situation Patrick describes.
Through the Night provides a heartwarming message about the courage and struggles of single mothers as well as the importance of essential workers. This documentary successfully advocates the importance of raising awareness of the hardships of working families and maintaining a stable life for their children. Furthermore, there is a strong representation of POC, including Mexican and African Americans, a relevant theme in 2020 America. Although this film is not rated, parents should watch out for sensitive content including the use of prescription pills and references to difficult home lives.
I rate Through the Night 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. Reviewed by Abigail L., KIDS FIRST!