AT THE END OF THE DAY

So it's 9:40pm on a Tuesday night and I've just watched a documentary for the digital film unit I am studying on my university course. The documentary is called 'Britain in a Day', aired in November 2012 on BBC Two and filmed on a single day in November 2011.

I watched it because I had to. Because I knew that if I didn't, I'd be turning up to my two digital film lectures tomorrow not knowing what on earth my lecturers were banging on about. I must admit, there have been a couple of documentaries on our 'viewing list' over the last 3 months that I've either not watched at all, or have watched very little of, because I have been so disinterested that I just couldn't bring myself to sit through them.

However, Britain in a Day caught my eye. The title alone. I knew from it that it was going to be a documentary about people's lives, so I knew I was going to like it. Or at least I had a pretty good idea that I would.

I didn't, though, expect to cry. The 1.5 hour documentary consisted of 30-second home videos filmed by around a hundred or more individuals in Britain on 12th November 2011. Most of the footage was not great quality, having been filmed on whatever video recording device these people owned, but it didn't bother me in the slightest. The clips were grouped together by themes such as: love, work, money, religion, parenthood, hobbies, illness, housing, marriage, friendship and family. Neither the footage, nor the themes of the groups of footage, was introduced and no introduction was needed. The home videos just played one after another for an hour and a half and there were several clips which I watched with tears streaming down my face. It surprised me every time, that I was crying at a half a minute clip of a person, or people, that I don't know. But their stories moved me, just a tiny snippet of their life moved me. An elderley man with a brain tumour being able to attend his grandchild's wedding two weeks after he was expected to die. Two teenagers, best friends, acknowledging that it had been a hard year for them and that "being a teenager is hard", but they hugged and laughed and told each other that they love each other. A little girl collecting eggs from the egg box of her pet chickens. A woman breastfeeding her twins. Another woman scattering the ashes of her border collie in the sea, saying she felt "pathetic for crying over a dog but he was part of the family". All these things gave me a few tears.

I kind of came to the conclusion that I'm very emotionally connected to human nature, to people, to the world in which we live. I know, as do the people who know me well, that I'm a pretty emotional person but watching this documentary made me realise that I really care about people. It also made me remember that, at the end of the day, health, friends and family are the most valuable things in every single human being's life. They matter. They matter so much.

If you ever get an hour and a half to spare out of your lives, I really recommend watching Britain in a Day. It made me laugh, cry and roll my eyes but it also reminded me what is truly important in this busy, crazy world. Let yourself be reminded, too.



0 comments