“Life in a Day” provides an opportunity to see the world from new perspectives


“Life in a Day” is a YouTube original documentary that premiered on Feb. 6, 2021 and the official video now has over 15 million views. The 80-minute film features 320,000 people who all filmed a specific day in they lives.

A father planning a surprise birthday party for his daughter, an unsuccessful marriage proposal and a worker cleaning a playground are all captured firsthand in “Life in a Day 2020.”

The YouTube original documentary premiered on Feb. 6, 2021 and the official video now has over 15 million views. The 80-minute film is organized into various sections that include birth, love, work and social justice. From tears and mourning to the joy of weddings and graduations, “Life in a Day” takes its viewers on a roller coaster of feelings.

On July 25, 2020 over 320,000 people around the world recorded a day in their life. The organized compilation of their videos shows glimpses into the lives of countless different kinds of people.

A young boy in the film best sums up the emotional and captivating collection of moments that make up “Life in a Day:” “turns out the world is so interesting.”

Although every clip in the movie was filmed on the same day, there is a surprising amount of footage spanning every topic covered. From the get-go, the contrast between different parts of the world is apparent.

The documentary opens with a montage of babies being born. Some mothers give birth in hospital rooms surrounded by doctors, and others are on the floors of their own homes with just their family around them. It’s a unique and striking choice to begin the documentary with the gift of life, and it makes the title “Life in a Day” seem fitting.

The film then transitions to a series of clips showing people waking up. One woman energetically awakens her housemates, saying, “It’s the best day ever. Wake up you guys!” However, not everyone carries the same enthusiasm as they begin their days. Many appear exhausted or defeated, and the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic is apparent as footage rolls of empty streets and closed off playgrounds.

According to the documentary, the creators received video footage from 192 countries around the world. The diversity in the clips makes the film all the more engaging, as it is impossible to predict what will be shown next.

Many participants respond to suggested prompts which ask them to explain who they love the most, what they are most afraid of and what they would like to change about themselves. People were not afraid to be vulnerable and showcase the emotional aspects of their lives. One woman answers that she loves her kids more than anything else and, breaking down in tears, that the one thing she would like to change in her life is “for kids to come back.”

There are endless short moments like these that were filled with intense emotion. One homeless man details how he has lost everything to the pandemic. A woman cries in her car because she is trying so hard to get pregnant but can’t. Another woman explains how she had two brothers, both of whom were Black, who died in police custody.

It’s overwhelming to see all the pain and suffering people go through in this world. And yet, all of these people find reasons to keep going in life, to persevere through some of the toughest circumstances imaginable. Instead of being a heartbreaking reminder of how difficult life is, “Life in a Day” inspires its viewers to be grateful for what they do have.

Despite all the devastating losses depicted in this documentary, there are also moments of profound joy. The woman who is struggling to get pregnant shares that she hopes the kids she has one day will “grow up in a world that’s kind.” The film balances extreme pain and extreme happiness, and it is up to the viewer to decide which side of the story to focus on.

Amazing shots of things like gorgeous landscapes and animals highlight how much there is to appreciate in the world. A young boy is asked to sing his favorite song and innocently begins reciting lyrics about beautiful girls. There is a montage of protests, the world uniting to stand up for Black lives. One man stands on his rooftop waving to a girl on another roof. He hilariously explains to the camera that she never responds, but he likes to keep trying.

“Life in a Day” provides the unique opportunity to witness the world from many new perspectives. Moments like a baby learning to crawl and an old woman learning how to ride a bike remind us of the feelings of joy in our own lives. It reminds its viewers to look for the joy in their own lives, and appreciate the beauty all around them.

Life in a Day 2020 Official Documentary is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcsSc2iksC0