Review: ‘One Day on Earth’ from many different views

A scene from "One Day On Earth"
(One Day On Earth)

Billed as “the largest collaboration of media creation in the world’s history,” “One Day on Earth” is a compilation documentary built for these short-attention-span times. Drawn from 3,000-plus hours of footage from every country on the planet, taken by volunteer videographers on a single day in October 2010, the film is driven by a we-are-the-world connectedness, but remains a travelogue in search of a defining center.

“One Day on Earth”: A review of the film “One Day on Earth” in the June 22 Calendar section referred to an image of a Ukrainian bride’s painted face. The bride is actually from Kosovo.

The overall impression is as fleeting as much of the imagery that flashes across the screen.

The 10.10.10 time capsule is the result of a project, completed in partnership with the UN and nonprofits including the World Wildlife Fund and Red Cross, that uses social networking to create a Web-based archive (an 11.11.11 sequel is in the works).

Each piece of footage is labeled with country of origin, and writer-director Kyle Ruddick blends in statistics on the human enterprise, from work and leisure to marriage and family, with sobering but context-free factoids on immigration, poverty, crime and war (on the date of filming, 45 countries were involved in military conflict).


The micro-chronicles also acknowledge protest and activism, with nods to the beauty of nature and its endangerment.

Though it doesn’t always avoid the feel of a marketing presentation,"One Day"benefits from the precision and energy of Michael Martinez and Mark Morgan’s editing. Among the few memorable pieces in the mosaic are a Ukrainian bride’s painted face and an Ethiopian girl’s tradition-defying determination to attend school.

The globe-spanning musical component is worthy of its own feature-length film.

“One Day on Earth.” No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 44 minutes. At Laemmle’s Music Hall, Beverly Hills.