The Night Visitors

72 mins.
Directed by Michael Gitlin
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Thu, 4/18

Director Michael Gitlin joins us in person for a post-screening conversation.

This screening is free to Amherst Cinema Members.

THE NIGHT VISITORS is a movie about moths. In large and small fragments, looking both inward and out, through a critical lens that is by turns social and personal, the film closely considers these underknown creatures. While THE NIGHT VISITORS is interested in moths as organisms, with fascinating life histories, staggering biodiversity, and a functional importance as indicators of climate change and habitat degradation, its engagement with them is not primarily entomological. Instead, the film looks at moths as aesthetic beings and as carriers of meaning, aiming for a deep encounter with the beauty and incommensurability of the profoundly other.

The small hours of the night are threaded through with a sense of mortality and loss. Moths, with their trembling and exquisite impermanence, provide both a kind of solace and, in their diversity and difference, a focal point around which the desire to know can be organized.

Official selection of the 2023 New York Film Festival and the 2023 Internation Film Festival Rotterdam.

About the filmmaker: Michael Gitlin makes work about some of the intricate conceptual and ideological systems out of which ways of knowing the world can be constructed. His films have screened at numerous venues, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Toronto International Film Festival, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Full Frame Documentary Festival, the London Film Festival, and the Whitney Biennial Exhibition.

Gitlin’s experimental documentary, THE NIGHT VISITORS, premiered at the 2023 New York Film Festival. His feature documentary, THAT WHICH IS POSSIBLE, screened at The Museum of the Moving Image in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, among other venues. His short film project, A DISASTER FOREVER, was in the 2015 New York Film Festival. His 16mm film, THE BIRDPEOPLE, is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Gitlin was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006. His work has also been supported by a MacDowell Fellowship, the Jerome Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Gitlin received an M.F.A. from Bard College. He teaches at Hunter College in New York City.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit