Hot Docs 2013: Another Night On Earth (2013)
In early 2011, the globe held its breath during 18 consecutive days of political demonstrations in Egypt, now called the Egyptian revolution. Then the world cheered as Hosni Mubarak was deposed. But as Another Night on Earth from director David Munoz illustrates, political upheavals are rarely so neat as the good guys won, the bad guys lost. Munoz installed his cameras in 12 Cairo taxis and recorded the conversations between the driver and their fares over the course of one night, delivering a true on-the-street perspective of life in Cairo.
One man’s revolution, it turns out, is another man’s average day. Forget political import – revolution pales in comparison to the daily struggle to make ends meet. As one cab driver points out, revolution means change but little has changed for him and he finds himself worse off than before. A female cab driver is harangued by fares all evening regarding the topic of her gender and where she rightfully belongs (at home cooking, if you’re wondering). We witness another driver struggling to raise enough capital during his shift to simply pay the rental fee for the cab, much less make a profit. The fares in Another Night on Earth proffer the same stories of struggle and hardship as the cabbies.
Another Night on Earth is a bit of a drag – ever been stuck in traffic? But the run time is short (just under an hour) and the film does a fine job of making the point that political aims do not always match up with pragmatic one. The voices of these cabdrivers and fares – working schleps who can’t afford to protest in the streets – are ones that rarely have a chance to be heard.
A Gallery of Images from Another Night on Earth