Just a moment ago I finished watching Life in a Day. It’s a free crowdsourced documentary showing various events all over the world on a single day, 24 July 2010. At first it seems like this film is social criticism because it is so full of contrasts. A Western man is seen starting his Lamborghini while in the next scene we see a man from what appears to be the Middle East in who has almost nothing save his children and a roof above his head. One man, possibly an African, has nothing in his pockets, as opposed to two Western women who carry around handguns to feel safe. A sequence of scenes is related to food, which starts with a Western man buying his food, totally detached from the process of gathering it. After that we see his poorer fellow humans on another continent who gather their own food, and then we see a cow being killed in a slaughterhouse.
It is a film about love and loss, joy and sadness, hope and despair, comfort and fear, serenity and hustle. It shows both the bright and dark side of humanity. The film succeeded very well, and after giving it some thought I don’t think it deserves to be characterized as social criticism. Of course the producers were selective in their inclusion of the material made available to them, but all they do is portray what happens on a normal day in the life of humans, just as they claim to be doing.
My highlights? The Korean man who is a true citizen of the world and is the only recurring person in the film. The boy who doesn’t want to be filmed but is convinced by his parents to cheer up. The beautiful woman who loves the strange very abstract word. The parachute jumpers. The woman who waited for something amazing to happen that day but got disappointed.