Ever wondered what someone else’s life was like, or what people on the other side of the world are doing at this very moment? Filmmaker brothers Ridley and Tony Scott along with director Kevin MacDonald attempted to answer this question by getting people across 192 countries to film what they did on 24 July 2010. After parring back 4,500 hours worth of footage into 95 minutes, Life In A Day delivers exactly what the title suggests.
The film goes over the course of one day from early morning until midnight, showing the lives, beliefs, relationships, daily rituals, and the hopes and dreams of various unique people all across the world. There are many standout moments in the film. A woman gets up at very early in the morning, believing that ghosts are easier to see and communicate with around 3am. Korean cyclist Hiroaki Aikawa has been riding his bicycle around the world for nine years and discusses what he has learned about life along the way. An American woman’s only way to talk to her husband is on Skype as he is overseas with the army. An estranged father and son in England decide to catch up. A young man calls his grandmother to tell her he is gay. A very young South American boy has to polish shoes to survive. A couple get an Elvis impersonator to marry them.
While this documentary does not follow any of its subjects’ lives closely, it does provide plenty of standout and often funny moments, such as a teenage boy awkwardly shaving for the first time, and a guy on a train hides once a pretty girl he’s filming sees him. The music is quite poignant, though this comes across as pretentious at times. The film shows the different sorts of problems people face, such as poverty, war, health issues, loneliness, and death, as well as life’s happier moments, such as weddings, birth, love, and laughter. Peoples’ views on controversial subjects such as politics, racism, religion, and sexuality are explored as well.
Life In A Day shows peoples’ insecurities about both their own lives and the world at large, and how they wonder if what they do is insignificant or worthwhile. But as Aikawa says, not just as he’s about to cycle out of one of the many towns he’s visited, but about mankind as a whole, ‘Time to continue the journey’.
Originally published at meapcareers.com.au on Thursday 18 August 2011