Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Britain in a Day

UK Release: Monday 11th June 2012
Watched on TV: Tuesday 12th June 2012
Rating: 12A
Genre: Documentary
Runtime: 1hr 30mins
BBC Plot Synopsis: On Saturday 12 November 2011 an eclectic range of British people turned the camera on themselves, capturing the entertaining and mundane, the exciting and unusual, the poignant and the everyday. The result, Britain in a Day tells the fascinating story of the British public in their own words. 
Following on from the feature film Life in a Day, this 90-minute film directed by BAFTA winner Morgan Matthews offers an extraordinarily candid look at 21st century life across the UK, crafted from over 750 hours of footage, including 11,526 clips submitted to YouTube. The documentary offers remarkable insight into the lives, loves, fears and hopes of people living in Britain today.

My Review: Britain in a Day surprised me in a way that Life in a Day didn’t. Life in a Day lived up to my expectations in the sense that it did capture a part of what being alive meant to people all over the world on that particular day a year or two ago. It gave a sense of wonderment, sadness and contentment that (naturally, in hindsight) Britain in a Day didn’t regurgitate. It gave the ‘British’ perception of life for those involved which turned out to be more risqué than what you would expect.
It took a while to settle in, but once you did it became really rather touching as we returned to some of the people featured, including one elderly man on his death bed attending his daughter’s wedding and another young man visiting his mother after not having seen her for many years. It was sweet and perhaps more sentimental than Life in a Day which felt to me to be more of a celebration of life and all our differences, whereas Britain in a Day was trying to be more representation of a nation as a whole and therefore didn’t quite encapsulate the same feelings and response from me. 
There seemed to be more of a focus on eccentric oddballs, showing off perhaps the cliche British stereotype rather than attempting to give across a realistic, representative view of Britain. But then I suppose it depends on what the nation chose to upload to the filmmakers and then their mediation of the final production. 
Ultimately though I think they did an excellent job in tying together all these disconnected clips into something coherent, something which makes you think and feel so many different emotions which everyone shares. There's something very special in that.
Score: 7/10

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