The story behind the new film "One Day On Earth" is almost more fascinating than the movie itself! The project, which was proposed in 2008, was to have a global community come together and film footage of their native country at some point on October 10, 2010. Meaning to unite universal awareness, heighten interest in growing world concerns, and put environmental activism in the spotlight, the experiment became of interest to groups around the world who wanted to document important social issues. This collaborative media event was followed by one on 11/11/11 and another on 12/12/12. Generating thousands of hours of footage, in every language conceivable, the project has amassed a huge Internet following of those looking to make a difference both locally and on a global scale.
It would be fair to say that "One Day On Earth" is a feature length documentary based on the footage archived from 10/10/10. But in the traditional sense, it is more of a collage style sensory assault. If you were a fan of films such as "Koyaanisqatsi," "Baraka," or the recent "Samsara" (Yes, I'm a fan of Ron Fricke who worked on the first and directed the other two), than you will quickly understand the aesthetic that the film aspires to. The film is structured by editing images together from every country on Earth to achieve an impressive sense of international connectedness. The experience, set to a soundtrack that includes original music from Joseph Minadeo (as well as Paul Simon and other world artists), is meant to provoke and inspire without the use of a conventional narrative or dialogue.
Indeed, "One Day On Earth" begins as an exciting travelogue, a glimpse at exotic lands and customs. But, perhaps, the film is a little too ambitious in the end. By attempting to use so much different footage, its message gets a tad muddled. The film tries to pack in so much commentary, it can veer toward chaos at times. And before some of its more potent themes (immigration, water conservation, religion, and climate concerns to name a few) are fully digested by the viewer or have much impact, they are quickly passed over. I wanted to love "One Day On Earth" as a movie because I think its an important and awareness raising project. But it simply tries to achieve too much in this limited time frame and structure. I give the on-going project 5 stars but the film itself about 3 1/2 stars. I still encourage you to support the film and its messages, but check out the three Ron Fricke films I mentioned for more truly immersive collage style films. KGHarris, 4/13.