Review: Take Light is a powerful doc about Nigerias electrical grid

TAKE LIGHT (Shasha Nakhai). 78 minutes. Some subtitles. Opens Friday (November 2). See listing. Rating: NNNNIn her first feature documentary,.


TAKE LIGHT (Shasha Nakhai). 78 minutes. Some subtitles. Opens Friday (November 2). See listing. Rating: NNNN

In her first feature documentary, Shasha Nakhai (a producer on recent docs Driving With Selvi and Frame 394) looks at the state of the electrical grid in Nigeria, where over half of the population lives without a consistent supply of electricity.

The film approaches its subject at ground level, introducing us to people and institutions connected by the grid or by the lack of it. Our guide is a chatty electrician named Martins, who spends his days trying to get the unstable, unreliable infrastructure working for more and more people.

Its an uphill battle. Homes and businesses get a few hours of power at best, and black-market electricians add further strain by making illegal connections. The effects of deprivation ripple insidiously outward: a hospital ER regularly treats patients whove burned themselves working on gasoline generators a morgue cant keep its refrigerators functioning consistently, which leads to bodies decomposing too quickly.

Theres a lot to take in, and Nakhai and DOP/editor Rich Williamson (who directed Frame 394) let it all flow elegantly, tying data to human stories rather than cold statistics and somehow ending the film on a hopeful note.

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