Life in a Day (US-UK, 2011)

Seeing the world

A brilliant idea, inviting anyone to submit a YouTube video about their life on 24th July, 2010, and then editing it into a feature. The producers also made camcorders available to places in the world where they are scarce in an attempt to avoid a skewed view. Much of the material, it was reported, was unusable, both for technical and content reasons, however they clearly had enough to make a riveting film.

Of course, this isn’t really a snapshot of the world on that day, the place is too multifarious for that, but the ‘directors’ (editors really) have done a terrific job in giving the film structure, from the early hours to midnight, and including wide ranging material, sad and happy.

The overwhelming impression is that there is more that binds us than separates us, and this has to be the truth as we belong to the same species. Differences shouldn’t divide, the world is a big enough place to include the multitudes, but could bring us together as difference is what makes life interesting. Any creed, or political system, that tries to change others is what needs to be changed (I am aware of the contradiction in that sentence).

This film, in its use of editing, reminded me of Dziga Vertov’s Man With a Movie Camera (Chelovek s kino-apparatom, USSR, 1929) that portrayed city life in the Soviet Union. In these days of globalisation it’s appropriate that we can now document global life. Maybe if we can get a sense of the planet as a particular place, we would look after it better.

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