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[Sundance ’21] ‘Life in a Day 2020’ review: YouTube original is a missed opportunity

Cute animals welcome!

Life in a Day 2020 is a quasi sequel to a YouTube project that debuted ten years ago. The movie is a collection of clips from July 25, 2020 uploaded to the internet video giant. What seems like a chance to be a touching time capsule of one day in a horrible year never rises about mildly nostalgic. There are some powerful moments in the film in this. Early on, a news report about Breonna Taylor can be heard. There are also multiple shots of people dealing with the pandemic. A particularly powerful moment sees a woman who shows a clip of her son in the first Life in a Day. When she shows what he is doing now, it is heartbreaking.

Regrettably, there is a lot of social media nonsense. Life in a Day is filled with quick cuts of couples kissing, cute animals, and people singing. It is essentially a YouTube supercut. This is unfortunate since 2020 was such a strange year. This was a chance to make a very strong statement of humanity. 325,000 videos across 192 videos were submitted to Life in a Day. Not every video has to make a powerful statement, but whole sections devoted to proposals, a person keeping track of trains, and skydiving were just odd. 

[Sundance '21] 'Life in a Day 2020' review: YouTube original is a missed opportunity

(The strangest part may be the section on people preparing for and filming their YouTube shows.)

Life in a Day 2020 is an odd mish mash. It captures the importance of social media in today’s world while also touching on relevant issues of the time. What was a novel idea a decade ago is just a clumsy mix of meaningless clips today. By giving equal importance to everything, nothing truly stands out, making the whole endeavor seem self serving.

Continue to check out AIPT for our ongoing coverage of the Sundance Film FestivalTickets and a full lineup can be found here.

Life in a Day 2020 premieres on YouTube February 6

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