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Life in a Day (2011)

Documentary, Drama
Hiroaki Aikawa, Cindy Baer, Teagan Bentley, Ester Brym
A documentary shot by film-makers all over the world that serves as a time capsule to show future generations what it was like to be alive on the twenty-fourth of July, 2010.
  • National Geographic Entertainment Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 02 Jun 2011 Released:
  • 08 Nov 2011 DVD Release:
  • $0.2M Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

Exhilarating ride through 1 day of us living on Earth9/10
Just saw this at a preview and its mind blowing.

As you might expect from a Youtube content generated film, the clips and there are hundreds...are short, punchy and vary from fuzzy mobile footage, of a lonely girl talking at her phone, a guy asking a girl on a date, to timelapsed high definition clouds brewing into a dark thunderous storm, suns setting over Himalayan peak, and goats staring knowingly at me ...more goats please!

All walks of life, all parts of the world, everywhere on this little blue planet is the location, where shared themes common to all humanity are explored and humoured, exploited and tragically true of us all...there's a lingering sadness which underlies the frequent fun and humour so many of these clips portray...us making the best of what we have, which for so many is nothing much at all, and yes there is darkness, a lot of it, but what we do, our nature is to laugh at it, and celebrate the victory of being alive.

The resulting feature length montage is profound, emotional, hard to watch at times, and if you're not empathising with the rest of the world and grateful of your shared humanity by the time the snail minds its own business...you ain't' go no soul, noooooo, none!

Expect more of this, coz its all true, and just a glimpse of what the digital age can do.
Amazingly real!9/10
This movie blew my mind! How can an independent movie be so great? This movie shows every day people in the rawest form. You just do not see this in any other film. It shows people real points of view, although very subtle. I thought it was very interesting to see so many people's fears and allowed the viewer to relate to this movie. I think the best part of it all is the fact that they allowed everyone to view it for FREE on you tube. No high-budget movie would do that! It is refreshing to see a movie being shown to all in its purest form and getting the buy in it is most deserved from the viewer. This movie should be show everywhere! Get out and see it!
Just another extraordinary day9/10
By its very nature, Life in a Day is an ambitious film. It seeks to encapsulate the human experience and all that it entails: life and death; love and hate; poverty and wealth; our dreams and our fears; and so on. I would argue that it does so successfully - or at least as successfully as possible for an undertaking of such scope (80,000 submissions totalling 4,500 hours of footage cut down to just an hour and a half!). It manages to strike a balance between the beauty of professional shooting and the raw visceral power of amateur footage. Very little seems contrived or awkward, and the editing and music do not usually distract from the simple energy of the vignettes being shown. In fact, the score is quite good and the editing only comes to the forefront when it's doing something meaningful - revealing links, emphasizing contrasts, or completing a thought.

A few stories are highlighted and revisited as the film progresses, but in general it never lingers too long on one scene. You would think this might hinder the presentation of some of the slower, more peaceful aspects of life, but it really doesn't. In fact, the lasting impression from this film is not one of chaos but one of unity and connection. That being said, at times the emotional roller-coaster you are being put through can be slightly bewildering. Some viewers might dislike how quickly they are brought from one emotion to another, but most will probably be too engaged to feel more than a twinge of regret that a particular scene couldn't last longer.

Some might argue that the more brutal realities of life are underrepresented (war, death, crime, prejudice, etc.), but I think that perception is probably due to how much we are bombarded with them by our daily news and entertainment. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of misery on display here (whether it be as simple as the sting of rejection or as profound as the fear of dying), but it's often more subtle than explicit and it's tempered by a positivity that sometimes seems to be lacking in our view of the world.

As a cinema enthusiast, this film excites me with the prospect of increasing interactivity and grassroots power. As a human, it gives me hope that we can live in harmony and understanding. And I'm usually quite the cynic.

Final summary: 9/10 | A
It engages the audience more than any documentary I've ever seen and leaves us with that profound and beautiful sensation that only the movies can give us.10/10
A father and son document their lives caring for someone they love, who is stricken with cancer. A man steals from a grocery store. An elderly couple, their hair pristine white, finally tie the knot. A young man tells his grandmother via a phone call that he is gay and that he hopes she can come to love his significant other as much as him. A group of women sing as they perform their daily duties. A photographer describes his way of life. People walk, go to work, talk to each other, talk to the camera, as they do in life. Because this is life. Life is extraordinary and life is mundane. And life, no matter from what perspective we examine it, is mesmerizing. And Kevin Macdonald's film "Life in a Day" is all of that and more.

This is one of the most enthralling, captivating, and magnificent works of art ever produced by human hands. And that is the honest truth, since it was, in deed, created by hundreds of people. Some of them filmmakers, most of them just ordinary Janes and Joes like you and me. Detailing what happened in their lives on July 24, 2010 and submitting their footage to Mr. Macdonald and producer Ridley Scott, they provided the materials for a genuine masterpiece. "Life in a Day" is a masterpiece not because it is artistic or cared for with creative tenderness (even though it is). It's a masterpiece because it is unabashedly honest and personable. I watched the movie on its live Youtube debut while it was simultaneously screened at the Sundance film festival. And for an hour and thirty-four minutes, I sat there captivated. Nothing could have torn me from my seat. Even though most of what I saw was fairly ordinary, things I could see walking down any street in any town. Paradoxical as it sounds, the mundane is mesmerizing.

In his movie, Mr. Macdonald and his hundreds of co-directors examines human life as fact and with honesty. He reveals the frailties, tenderness, brutality, horrors, and beauty of life in our world all within that short window of an hour and a half. It's so captivating because it's all real and these are stories that many of us can identify with, and others we hope never to. That's when the movie really becomes a tear-jerker. Sometimes there are long stretches of time on particular subjects, other times it's a montage accompanied by truly wonderful, ear-worm music. There is so much that I want to say about "Life in a Day" but I must restrict myself. Because the movie really has to be seen to be believed. I cannot possibly do this film's emotional and psychological justice simply by writing about it. All I should (and will) do is tell you my reaction, as I just have. This is one of my most personal reviews and it's fair because it's a personal film. It engages the audience more than any documentary could ever do (though I haven't seen "Shoah" yet) and it leaves us with that utterly profound and beautiful sensation that only a great picture can do. Even though it is very, very simple in a lot of ways. After all, Steven Spielberg once said "Oftentimes the simplest ideas are the best ones." He was right. Boy, was he right.

"Life in a Day" is a masterpiece.
Unbelievable9/10
Life in a Day is a remarkable, emotional and an inspiring film full of life.

The film is shot by hundreds of people, from around the world, who sent their own personal videos into YouTube to make this stunning picture.

It is hard to really review the film because of what it is about: life. The film captures life for anything on Earth, whether it be a human or an animal. Cultures, religions, ways of life and philosophies are all touched upon in this amazing piece of history. Never before has the entire world been seen in a film such as it has in this picture.

People from all over the world are captured living as they do normally. There is no Hollywood, there are no actors, no directors and no writers. This film is about people.

It is obviously very difficult to explain what life is and I am not going to do it. But this film does it and it does it in a way anybody could understand.

Life in a Day is awe-inspiring in the way it captures life on Earth without being sentimental. At the end of the film, there won't be a soul in the world that isn't touched.