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Take Light

Directed by Shasha Nakhai
Canada, 2018 (documentary, 78 minutes, colour, English)

Film Description:
"Power means everything in Nigeria. Africa's biggest oil producer is the world's seventh most populous nation—Nigeria is literally bursting with promise. Yet less than 50 percent of the country's 195 million citizens have access to electricity; those that do, receive a few hours per day at best. In Port Harcourt, a major oil and gas hub in the Niger Delta, blackouts are the norm. They descend on the bustling city like soot from the regular gas flares, affecting daily life in ways that are disruptive and, often, dangerous. The chronic power problem and its complex causes fuel the daily news cycle, as chatter from pundits and politicians crackles through the airwaves. Against this backdrop, Take Light takes us into the streets of director Shasha Nakhai's hometown, and into the lives of people working on the frontlines of the grid. Their compelling and dramatic stories are woven together to create a gritty, beautiful, and urgent documentary that reveals a side of Nigerian society the world rarely gets to see."
-- Storyline Entertainment (source)

Film Credits (partial):
Produced by: Ed Barreveld, Shasha Nakhai
Cinematography: Rich Williamson
Film Editing: Rich Williamson
Music: Rob Teehan
Production Company: Storyline Entertainment

Quote by the Director

"Take Light is inspired by my experiences living in Nigeria for 15 years. When I was growing up, the lack of electricity was a daily problem. I remember going into our backyard shed with a flashlight in the middle of the night to turn on our diesel generator. I remember being fanned to sleep by my parents during week-long blackout periods. The lack of reliable power was a defining factor of life in Nigeria, even for a privileged oyibo (non-African) like me. The problem affected everyone, rich and poor, and it continued to affect me in ways I couldn't even imagine, long after I moved to Canada at age 15."
-- Shasha Nakhai (source)

Quotes about Take Light

"Also airing this weekend Take Light [...] takes us to Nigeria, Africa's biggest oil producer. Only about half the population has electricity, mind you. The doc, splendidly made by Shasha Nakhai and full of arid humour, is about how people cope and what they try to do, dealing with a privatized power company. We meet Martins, a polite and religious family man who is obliged to cut off service to non-paying customers, and Godwin, who freelances as an electrician reconnecting the people who are cut off. It's about the staggering level of corruption and ingenuity of people who are trying to find a better way."
-- John Doyle (source)

"Take Light lets audiences experience this frustration in a humorous opening scene in which residents huddle around a TV in a pub watching a soccer match. The player onscreen runs, shoots and scores. The crowd goes wild. As if overloaded by the energy in the room, the TV and lights cut out. Cue a collective groan from the fans. [Shasha] Nakhai investigates how Nigerians endure the prohibitively expensive energy costs by including the voices of residents alongside those of PHED employees on the front lines. There are no experts, no talking heads and no policy wonks. Just ordinary people who live in frequent darkness."
-- Patrick Mullen (source)

"In Canadian director Shasha Nakhai's documentary Take Light, about the power grid issues in her former homeland, she interviews disgruntled customers and harried workers of NEPA, the National Electric Power Authority or, more cynically, Never Expect Power Again. The problems include widespread corruption, militant attacks on pipelines, and solar panels that don't produce power because of atmospheric soot produced by industrial gas flares. Nakhai doesn't provide much advice on a solution, but paints an evocative picture."
-- National Post (source)

Publications by the Director about Take Light

Bibliography for Take Light

Articles from Newspapers, Magazines, or News Websites

Web Sites about Take Light

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