A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This documentary draws attention to the lethal nature of texting and driving without a hint of manufactured drama. Each story is as heartbreaking as it is effective, and the film's message leaves no question as to the seriousness of the subject matter. There are lots of tears shed, both from victims and from the perpetrators, but there's also an inspiring air of forgiveness and hope that comes from two of the stories.
Positive Role Models
Although the actions that brought them here weren't admirable, the two participants who caused fatal accidents because of texting have turned their experiences into a strong message for others through their involvement in this film. Both are painfully honest about how their lives have changed, how the accidents haunt them, and how devoted they are to using their experiences to influence others' habits. The legacies of the victims and their families are mixed; some show forgiveness, while others still struggle to move past their anger.
Violence & Scariness
Survivors and witnesses describe the car accidents, including details of victims' injuries and deaths. One victim is paralyzed and uses a ventilator; another suffered brain injuries that affect her speech and balance. In some cases, police share photos of tangled car wreckage from the accident scenes, but none include images of the victims.
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Products & Purchases
The film ends with a reminder for viewers to visit It Can Wait's website, sponsored by AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, to pledge against texting and driving. Some brand names are visible on subjects' clothing, including Under Armour and Aeropostale.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that From One Second to the Next is an affecting short documentary about the potential consequences of texting and driving as told by the victims and perpetrators of four horrific car accidents resulting from texting. Their firsthand stories are haunting, the visual images gut-wrenching, and the eventual message irrevocable: this kind of distracted driving can –- and will -– kill. The documentary includes graphic descriptions of injuries and fatalities as well as images of wreckage (but not victims) from the accidents, all of which is held in comparison to the insignificance of the texts that played a role in the traumas. Produced in partnership with the It Can Wait initiative, the movie wraps up with a reminder to viewers to visit the campaign's website and pledge against texting and driving. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
These stories are painful to watch (have some tissues handy), but they drive home an essential message in a way no 30-second ad or two-dimensional billboard ever could. Texting and driving: We're bombarded with cautionary messages about the dangers every day, but do we really grasp the gravity of the issue? Particularly for teens, who were raised in our hyper-connected culture, the concept of a daily behavior like texting being dangerous is easily dismissed. Enter From One Second to the Next, a gripping tribute to not only the lethal risks texting behind the wheel poses but also to some of the victims it's already claimed, including, to some degree, the errant drivers.
Public service announcement aside, this relatively short documentary is a masterful example of filmmaking, which is why it's very difficult to shut it off or even turn away from screen prematurely. In the absence of background music or narrative, emotional accounts from victims and their families –- as well as responding officers and the perpetrators themselves –- build tension to a breaking point. No effort is made to doctor the content or fill in lengthy pauses in victims' accounts because it's just not necessary; these harrowing tales are more dramatic than any fictionalized version could be, and there's no avoiding the crucial message they drive home.
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