Life in a Day

It sounds like a good idea: document a single day on earth (July 24, 2010) by getting people all around the world to send in clips. A team led by Kevin Macdonald (who’s given the title of ‘director’ for some reason) sifted through 81,000 contributions to create a film that’s, um, halfway between a documentary and a highlights reel.

Almost every emotion is captured and the images can be beautiful, mundane, funny, frightening, heart-rending or confronting. The best clips are those that make the viewer work to understand what’s going on. But it’s the recurring characters – the Korean who’s cycling around the world, the mother with cancer, the goatherds – who offer the real engagement and stop this looking like some sort of bank lifestyle ad. I’m sure the whole project will be a great resource for future historians, but don’t expect much insight into the state of the world from this 90-minute version. 6/10

Released September 1, 2011.

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