By Day and By Night
Dir.: Alejandro Molina | Mexico 2010 | 90 min
The Earth is overpopulated, and to make space for everyone, it has been split up into a night and a day shift. To better manage who sleeps when, everyone is given a special enzyme injection, so that they go into a kind of hibernation when it is not their half of the day. The young woman Aurora loses her little daughter, as she inexplicably changes from the day to the night shift. They are both alive, but she is unable to communicate with her while she's hibernating - so close and yet so far away. The idea of this Mexican future dystopia is, of course, reminiscent of sci-fi classics such as 'THX 1138' and '1984', and the topics of overpopulation and people that are victims of totalitarian technology are not new either. But 'By Day and By Night' gives the idea a very human and touching twist. For even if the presented technology is a bit silly, outdated and naive, one forgives the film for it, as it puts the human being in the centre, and not technology. And in contrast to far too many other sci-fi films, which could thematically have just as easily taken place in the Middle Ages, and where the technology is simply a gimmick, this film uses the premise as the driving force for a human story. Visually, it makes optimal use of its low budget by using Mexico's beautiful nature as its backdrop, as opposed to using expensive scenery and effects.