Life In A Day ~ (USA/UK, 2011) ~ Netflix Stream

Life In A Day is a documentary put together by Ridley and Tony Scott which chronicles a specific day in the life of the planet. The beginning of the film states that “We asked people around the world to film their lives and answer a few simple questions”. There were 80,000 submissions totaling 4500 hours of video that were sent in from 192 countries. The day in question was July 24th, 2010 so this is a sort of video time capsule of that day from around the globe. In fact, the documentary begins what a shot of that globe – planet earth.

One of the first videos is of a man howling at the moon at about 3 A.M. Easy to see why this was selected. Isn’t this ultimately our lot? A metaphor of what it means to be alive in our skin. Not knowing certainty, we can only howl at the moon. We have to eat though, and one of the best sequences shows a group of women singing and pounding grain in some African nation. This is an extended sequence intercut with people eating or preparing to eat. Here preparing to eat also includes a video of a cow being shot in the head (twice) and having its throat slit. Its bloody and frankly disturbing, but there it is. Part of life on the planet.

At a few points the camera shows a guitar being played and a woman holding up a sign with a question The questions lead to videos of people answering the question. Questions like who (or what) do you love? One guy tells the camera that he loves his refrigerator because it stays in the corner and keeps its mouth shut! There is the love of pets, the love of children, the love of partners, the love of God.

What do you fear? is asked. There is the usual: snakes, rats; of personal violence being done; and that old standby of dying. There is sadness and loneliness, and all the ‘stuff’ that speaks to us of what it means to be alive. The day is arbitrary. Any day throughout history would yield the same concerns of man – only the details of our existence would vary through time. This can be an affecting film, showing us in all our glorious frivolity, all our spiritual longings. Recommended.

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