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This film is not a very traditional film. It has no script or clear narrative, no actors, and not a sniff of CGI. However, its a dramatic, move and memorable piece.
Its a simple idea, one that plays on what its like to live in 2012 (although it was made last year) in many ways. The idea is simple - have many people record small snippets of their day - daily routines, from around the globe -from all walks of life, and cut it together (in time order) to form a picture of an average day in the life. The first thing you get is how captivating such a simple idea can be - its mesmerizing. Once you start watching you can't really stop until its over - and when its over you can't help but be amazed how you were drawn into such a simple idea.
Some moments are humbling, some are eye opening and some are inspiring. And what is amazing, is that they are just snippets of peoples every day life. There is never a sense in this film anyone is acting, or even really playing to the camera - they just let the wonder of the everyday speak.
We see people from all around the world. People of all ages, in places all over the world. We see what people have in common, despite being from different cultures, religions and all over the social spectrum. We also see how different people are, despite having so much in common.
A particularly moving clip shows a young boy, from a very poor back ground, going to work very early, then another job, then another job, and finally going to school, before going back to work. Its made more humbling and when we see children of a similar age, doing what they do at this time of day in other places around the world. A trick the film makers have really locked into is juxtaposing people from vastly different backgrounds doing very similar things. Its touching and really brings the notion that we all share the earth regardless of color, creed or social mobility. It might sound like i'm over selling how moving it can be, but it really is moving.
Another clip shows how a single parent, a male, deals with the everyday routine around getting a child up and ready for the day - made all the more moving seeing him loose his patience in front of the camera when the child is not in the room, but maintain calm and fatherly when the child is in the room. There is a real sense he is unaware of how he is acting, and we get a rare insight into the nuance of everyday life.
You see a lot of what it is to live in various places around the world and how different peoples lives can be - but its the format I think that is most telling. We live in an era with cameras everywhere, personal space is such a premium commodity nowadays and attention span seems to be at an all time minimum. That is why it seems fitting for this to be pieced together from small bits of home made amateur footage, from very personal places. Some is of people waking up, some from people asleep - it all seems like they have are not entirely aware they are being filmed - whilst reluctantly acknowledged there is a camera present.
Its this I think that makes it feel so mesmerizing - you get a sneak peak into another persons life - usually a bit they hide, and if your not interested in what you see there is another one coming up in a few seconds.
Woven together it builds a film that if I was feeling lazy I would say where film and art meet - but its more than that. It feels like a film with no agenda other than to show you how amazing the everyday can be.
I watched 'Life In a Day' last night on YouTube and it really was an interesting project. Documenting the happenings of people all over the world on July 24, 2010 through 4,500 hours of submitted video, the film showcases the highs and lows of everyday life.
Whilst other movies are scripted, highly budgeted and well acted, the mundane occurrences of everyday life has a rhythm and a tune which is common. The daily routine was beautifully shown as a series of short clips, the sounds, the sights... I loved the emphasis on the simple tasks and just revealing the beauty of such small details.
The film also managed to show the larger 'life changing' events that include proposals, marriages, pregnancies, birth... which is another thing which is miraculous. However, it wasn't scared to expose the gruesome realities that also take place on a daily basis: the harsh life of the third world, the slaughtering of a cow (I had to skip past that bit) and illness. I was particularly moved by the boy who had to shine shoes- his purity was touching.
In this way, the film took us on a journey both physically (taking us around the world through a Korean who have been travelling by bicycle for over 10 years) and emotionally. The thrills of skydiving to the terror of a stampede.
Despite the at times harrowing sights of reality, the film leaves us with a bright message, one that connects us all in the world. Even though it was just a normal day and that we may not have experienced something drastic that day, someone else has gone through the same thing, someone else has had an amazing day, or a poor one... the feeling that someone somewhere is just the same as you but in a different culture, background, circumstance...
Having seen the film, I feel and experience the world in a slightly different way. The sights, sounds and smells that come with the mundane activities of life become exciting, a rhythm, a beat of life... one to enjoy. Everyday.
It's a New year, how will you look at life?