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"everyday Life" Film Reflection Essay

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Film Reflection Essay

Life in a Day, a unique documentary directed by Kevin Macdonald and produced by Ridley Scott, consists of a montage of highly personal videos that people from all around the world have shot themselves. The film depicts what it was like to be alive on earth on one particular day, namely June 24th of 2010. Coming from 192 countries, there was a collection of 80,000 YouTube videos available, in which a select few of these were chosen and lightly edited to contribute to the 94 minute long documentary. Life in a day has adopted certain organizing principles that characterise the nature of the everyday, such as the collection of food, waking up in the morning, travelling to work, etc.

The beginning of the film portrays an important underlying message that sets the scene for the rest of the documentary. The director had very cleverly chosen to start off with various images of the full moon that had occurred on July 24, but shot in different countries. The sole purpose of this was to express to viewers that we are all under the same moon, and, more specifically, we are all unified. At the end of the day, whatever we may think differs us, from where we are situated in the world to our culture, it is true that we are different but in essence we are all the same.

Sociological imagination refers to the intense imagination that coincides the link between individual experiences and the wider community. It is impossible to comprehend a person’s life or a society’s history unless both are understood. Ultimately, ‘sociological imagination is about detaching oneself from the banal routines that are a part of our everyday lives and furthermore, realising that those everyday activities are really social structures that we take for granted.’ (Wright 1959). This is a concept that is depicted continuously throughout the film.

One particular scene demonstrates the ways that people around the world get their food. One such clip showed already made sushi rolls moving along the sushi train ready for customers to grab whichever plate they desire. However, we seem to forget about what goes on behind the scenes, specifically, how was the sushi able to be created? Well, basically a sheet of seaweed is used for the outside layer, then some sticky rice goes into the inside layer and then the most important part, in the very centre, the fish or seafood. But of course, the fish had to come from somewhere and we as individuals in society sometimes forget to acknowledge that as we have access to ready- to- eat food. Therefore, we need to breakdown the activity at hand and de-familiarize the familiar to truly understand sociology.

The next clip displays a number of divers or fisherman retrieving fish and squid from the ocean. Without this critical step in our society, we wouldn’t be able to produce the final product of the sushi rolls that we saw in the clip. Another particular video, which would most likely be quite confronting to most people, was the demonstration of the killing of a cow for beef meat. The cow was killed through the use of two needle- like shots into the head in order to stun the animal, followed by slaughter. I can guarantee that the vast majority of meat-eaters have hardly ever thought about this harsh reality when they proceed to eat meat, myself included. It really puts things into perspective, being exposed to a horrific video such as that one. The underlying issue is that many people do not accept exactly how the meat is easily available, as the only thing customers need to do is to go into the supermarket and select their prepared, packages of meat. By recognizing the process of the distribution of meat, we are actively de-familiarising what we would usually consider to be a normal, naturally occurring part of everyday life, when it is in fact socially structured and nothing about it is natural at all.

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