You want to better understand Italy and Italians, for any reason. Should you see the movie “Italy in a day”?
Italy in a day has been claimed to be the first experiment in Italy of social filming. On 26th October 2013 Italian were asked to use their smartphones and cameras to record one day in their life. The idea was to build a collective film that would be directed by Oscar prize-winner Gabriele Salvatores.
Nearly a year later, on 23rd September 2014 the documentary was showed in cinemas and on 27th September it was broadcasted by the national TV.
It’s nothing more than the Italian version of the 2011 documentary Life in a day, A Ridley Scott production collecting videos recorded by worldwide Youtube users on July 24th 2010.
Nevertheless, I was quite excited to see it. I expected to see something original, far from commonplaces, not corny, something about real life. I expected to be moved, maybe to laugh and cry.
I ended with a quite different feeling. Most of the people in the videos gave me the impression of playing a role, more than just reporting a day of their life. It was like: “Hey, it’s though out here, economic crisis, unemployment, corrupted politics. But you know, we are everyday heroes. We manage to be happy”. Exactly the storytelling I watch everyday on TV and media. I’m not saying it’s a bad movie. My impression was that Salvatores found hard to pick something sincere and original out of the nearly 45.000 videos he received. I appreciated the videos of a guy sailing on a cargo ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Big waves, big containers, a mariner talking alone to a camera. It brings in multiple metaphoric contents and something far from the clichés of the Italian way of life. It’s certainly interesting for a director. But these videos were used at least four or five times, really too much. I guess it was one of the few videos with potential.
And the remaining? Pets, children, grannies, couples and families at lunch, at dinner, in bed. It reminded me of something. I finally realised it was like looking at…my facebook feed?
I believe this result is influenced by the habit we have built since years to post our life on social media: people posts the best of their life, the character that they want play.
So, as an Italian, I was a little bit disappointed because I could not find the truth I expected.
Coming back to my initial question, should you see “Italy in a day”? Yes, because it’s a good movie.
Should you see “Italy in a day” to better understand Italy? I’m not sure.
Trying to decide what to do, have a look to the video of the official song, with some scenes of the film.