Life In A Day Review

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Conceived as a YouTube experiment in which people from all around the world submitted footage of their day, the result is a documentary offering snapshots of the planet from a world of different perspectives.


Goats play a surprisingly large part in the world today. That’s just one of the surprises in this portmanteau film, culled from 80,000 submissions from filmmakers all over the world, all shot on a single day in 2010. Covering everyday life from birth to death and from extreme poverty to Western decadence, this is mundane, tragic, moving and often very funny. It’s also — in scenes of cattle slaughter and a fatal festival crush — sometimes shocking. In other words, much of human life is here, and if bits are significantly less attractive than other bits, that’s to be expected. More disappointing is the relevant underrepresentation of women and certain geographical areas (much of Africa, for instance), but all credit to Macdonald and editor Joe Walker for crafting a coherent and wide-ranging portrait of humanity now.

Moving and insightful. Not a classic by any means, but a fascinating glimpse of the way we live today.