Review in Brief: Life in a Day 2020 (2021)

Despite a worldwide pandemic, in 2020 life went on. Ten years on from crowd-sourced documentary LIFE IN A DAY Kevin Macdonald and his team did it again, this time picking 25 July 2020 as the date of record. This world-spanning journey proceeds chronologically from sunrise to sunset, stories grouped by subject, predominant emotion or theme, all held together with neat editing and a beautiful but unobtrusive score. We meet an opera-singing surgeon belting out an aria before pulling up his mask to resume his duties, and a couple undergoing IVF treatment hitting heartbreaking setback. We see the particular extra challenge Covid deaths impose on predominantly Muslim countries with the religious importance of cleansing every body before burial. We reconnect with one contributor to the original Life in a Day whose teenage son has passed away in the intervening years, and in the year of George Floyd’s murder an African American woman tells the story of how she has lost three brothers to the police. Even though it gives us some upsetting sights, LIAD 2020 is ultimately a hopeful and universal document of the resilience of humanity in the most trying of times. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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