Some of the best short films provide powerful allegories for modern existence, and Hannah Bang’s fantastic My Nights Glow Yellow more than fits this bill. Carefully blending a believable sci-fi vision with topical social commentary, Bang’s short works on multiple levels are sure to hit home with modern viewers yearning for a unique insight into the social problems of a connected world. Loneliness and depression are on the rise, and films like this give us a glimpse into a future that isn’t far removed from our current reality.
“…sells her time as a platonic friend for lonely individuals.”
The film is akin to a short episode of Black Mirror. K (Michelle Mao) is a gig worker. But this isn’t Uber, Lyft, or DoorDash. She instead sells her time as a platonic friend for lonely individuals. Clients use an app to book their time for various activities, whether it be joining them for a meal, grocery shopping, or even throwing eggs against a wall to let off some steam. One day, a client of hers, Michael (Matt McGorry), runs into her while she is off the clock, and she accepts his offer to give her a ride home, prompting Michael to see if she would be willing to pursue a relationship off the app, prompting an ample exercise in awkwardness.
My Nights Glow Yellow is a stirring indictment of a generation in social crisis. Even before a global pandemic that forced the world inside for an extended period, the prevalence of screens and “connectedness” has seemingly taken the place of physical social interaction. Social media and video conferencing are no substitute for physical human interaction, though, so it’s not a stretch to imagine apps like the one in the film coming to fruition in the near future. Hannah Bang and her cast show a lot of promise (especially Michelle Mao), and I can’t wait to see what she does in the future.
"…stirring indictment of a generation in social crisis"