On Earth Day today, Young NTUC, 350 Singapore and ECO Singapore organized the screening of One Day on Earth Global Screening: Singapore, a film that was made from more than 3000 hours of footage submitted from almost every country on the planet, from the two poles and with contributions even from the International Space Station, capturing a slice of life everywhere over the course of one day, designated on 10 Oct 2010. Screenings were also held in countries around the world, and in Singapore about 90 turned up at the NTUC Centre downtown for the screening event, where Randolf Arriola warmed up the crowd with a soulful live-looping showcase.
Of course, films like this one aren't exactly new in concept, given the proliferation of cameras and amateur filmmakers around the world eager to contribute their talent toward a common cause. In 2011 there was Life in a Day, made under the banners of YouTube, LG and Scott Free Productions, with Kevin MacDonald taking on directing responsibilities in combining footage submitted from those shot on 24 Jul 2010. But One Day on Earth by Kyle Ruddick seemed the more organized of the two that organizes the clips submitted in more thematic terms, bookended no doubt with sunrises and midnight sojourns, and more surprisingly, having footage sent from even the most oppressed of countries that we have amongst our midst.
Broad categories such as peace, war, different times of death, life, death, love, religion, and the things people do, all fall into place with naturalness, making this film extremely easy to follow, with picturesque landscapes telling as much of a story as those which are almost interview, talking heads styled. And with public submissions, there is a balance between choosing those of high technical quality, and those which somewhat fall short, yet having a powerful story to tell with their compelling visuals. Not only was it designed around themes, there were also some key, recurring characters that pop up from time to time, touching human stories such as the French little girl, and Vincent, a 10 year old boy who was given a life expectancy of 10 years, and is celebrating his 10th birthday much against all odds, on 10-10-10.
One Day on Earth serves as a snapshot of the countless of stories that exist every moment of our lives on this planet we share, where our perspective at a point in time is that singular experience, and consciously knowing that there are concurrent moments that are happening around us all the time, as seen through the eyes and experienced by others. Like in real life, it's near impossible to document and capture on film everything in real time, and then playing them all back at the same time so that we can experience what others have gone through. This film serves as a snapshot at best, that as humans, the experiences we go through shape our beings, and ultimately through common themes one will realize, if not already, how similar in spirit we all are, in the desire of similar things, and especially in dreams and hopes for the future.
Singapore's representation in this rendition of the film, as far as I can catch given that Kyle Ruddick makes a point to brand each clip with its country of contribution, is less than five. I suppose with greater exposure and publicity, if there's another film made that calls for a similar level of participation, hopefully we may see a significant rise in the number of contributions submitted.