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Michael A. Goorjian,
What do you get when you ask the people of the world to chronicle a single day in their lives? You get 80,000 submissions, 4500 hours of footage, from 192 countries. Kevin Macdonald has taken this raw material, all shot on July 24, 2010, and created a 90-minute paean to what it means to be human in the world today. Written by
At face value, engaging but peel away some layers and it is profound.
We have all had that moment. At a particular point in any given day, we wonder what someone is doing on the other side of the world at that exact moment. Life in a Day gives us just a glimpse of the world on a normal day and does so masterfully. I was very engaged by the flashy editing and creative montages but also very touched at some of the short sequences of humans in their most candid moments. This film gives us a window into life on the macro and the micro. It presents us with constant scene changes and slick editing to keep us interested and then gives us some very real and very profound moments.
This film manages to reward the viewer with quality and quantity, in the sense that it packs more into its 95 minutes that you can shake a stick at. Many of the stories in this movie could be their own documentaries themselves and make for a great watch. But it is not just the people, that make this movie great. Without giving anything away, this film will find ways to pull at your heartstrings in ways you may have never experienced with cinema. Everyone at some point in this film can relate to moments that are so visceral and so real, you may find your self reliving emotions you may not have expected, good and bad. I am being purposefully vague because any explanation of the events in this film will not do it justice. You need to experience it.
I highly recommend this film, not as a documentary, but as an experience and window into the human condition. Life, death, love, laughter, bodily function, work,war,heartbreak, fear. Just some of the emotions and experiences chronicled, this film does a great job of presenting it in an interesting way that keeps you wanting more. It is almost too bad that for most of the subjects, we are offered a very brief glimpse into their life only to be whisked halfway around the world and thrust into the home of another. The Scott brothers (Tony and Ridley) did a great job of keeping some cohesion as far as the chronological order of the day and the subject matter. With 4500 hours of footage from 192 countries, this was no small feat.
In closing, I hope more and more see this movie as it gives us an unbiased glimpse into the human condition. Approach the movie with an open mind and a little patience, and you will be rewarded. It is art such as this that can help us understand one another to hopefully be able to put aside our differences, if for just one day.
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