Life in a Day 2020

Movie review by
Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media
Life in a Day 2020 Movie Poster Image
Intense global compilation of videos has mature themes.
  • NR
  • 2021
  • 87 minutes

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Humans are alike around the world. We share concerns and life experiences, more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. The film promotes empathy for and curiosity about each other and the way people live around the world.

Positive Role Models

People love and care for their family members. They miss and remember loved ones who passed away. They make do with what they have or strive for something better. They point out injustices and work to treat the planet more gently. They fall in and out of love, have kids, care for their infirm and elderly. They look to religious texts and rituals for inspiration. They keep their bodies and minds in shape. Essential workers do thankless jobs. Veterans struggle against PTSD.


People mourn their loved ones and livelihoods lost to COVID or elsewise. Men wash dead bodies and prepare them for burial. A man keeps the heads of cows frozen in his basement. A priest says the pandemic has been all about getting ready for death. A paralyzed man says people treat him as if he's already dead. A Black man drives by a house with Confederate flags and says that people showing hate and ignorance scare him, and he hints that he carries a gun for self defense. A Black woman says two of her brothers died in police custody. Violence and anger break out at street protests. A military veteran talks about a companion who committed suicide due to PTSD. A man lives in his car because he says he lost everything in the pandemic. A man fears anarchy is coming when the pandemic ends. People anticipate the end of days.


Women experience labor, and babies are born, including one filmed in explicit detail. Umbilical cords are cut, and babies suckle on their mothers' breasts. A woman trying unsuccessfully to conceive mentions IVF treatments. Couples kiss; some suggest they'll do more off camera. Teens and others admit they're in love. There are courtships, proposals, weddings, and break-ups.


"F--k," "f--ker," "f--king," "dammit," "bitch," "fart."


YouTube, Pepsi, Nike, Tinder, Calvin Klein, Honda, U-Haul, Dial, VW, Fila.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

People drink liquor and wine with friends and family and as part of religious ceremonies.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Life in a Day 2020 is the second compilation of videos about individual lives around the world on a single day, woven together from hundreds of thousands of submissions. Like the first edition from a day in 2010, the contributed videos are edited together with like material, and themes revolve around birth, death, family, friends, relationships, work, food, spirituality, hobbies, sports, racial justice, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the experiences described or filmed are intense and emotional; others are light and humorous. People around the world live with varying degrees of comfort; some are content with their station in life, others are not. People talk about loved ones lost to COVID or elsewise. Several women give birth, and one birth is filmed in detail. Dead bodies are cleansed and buried. Couples kiss and suggest they'll be doing more off camera. Language includes "f--k," "f--ker," "f--king," "dammit," "bitch," and "fart." Some drinking. The film promotes empathy for and curiosity about each other across the human experience.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 13 years old Written byRya_1828 June 1, 2021

Positive messages

I really enjoyed this movie and I liked that it gives a good message about doing what you want to do with your life and what your passionate about, and don... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byClorox bleach February 4, 2021

im going to review this when I watch it

im going to review this when I watch it

What's the story?

The makers of LIFE IN A DAY 2020 asked people from around the world to send in videos of their lives on one specific day: July 25, 2020. They received 324,000 videos from 192 countries, representing 65 languages. The clips, organized loosely from morning to nighttime, capture a very different globe than the film's predecessor ten years ago due to the COVID pandemic. People talk about losing loved ones or their jobs and homes. Essential workers complete thankless tasks. Some people share their hobbies, others their homes, families, special events, religious practices, and hopes and fears for the future. People fall in and out of love. Some of the videos tackle political topics of racial or climate justice. What pulls them all together is the commonality of the human experience, despite superficial differences.

Is it any good?

It's impossible not to find something touching, funny, profound, sad, or inspiring of deeper thought in a film like this one. Yet precisely because there's so much packed in here, Life in a Day 2020 may best be watched -- and digested -- in segments. At about the one hour mark, the film dives into a montage of clips of wild animals, vast nature-scapes, industrial pollution, global climate change, and live food factories. It's such an important message, but after 60 minutes of humanity on display, the sustained emotion feels almost overwhelming. The same could be said of a section dedicated to Black Lives Matter protests in the US, which begins emotionally with a Black man driving by a house with Confederate flags and hinting that he keeps a gun around for self protection, and a Black woman who tearfully recalls that two of her brothers were killed in police custody.

This film is a labor of love, and it's a major effort of collection, curation, and editing. The organizers received 324,000 videos that they whittled down to 87 minutes. They've broadly organized them into like material spread out over the course of a single day, from sun up to sun down. It's also book-ended by babies being born and elderly people reflecting on lives well lived. Surprisingly, it's not entirely focused on COVID, but the pandemic is omnipresent, including in a man who has made the spiders in his home his family, a segment on essential workers of all kinds, and people who have lost loved ones. There's much to be learned about each other, most importantly that there's more that unites us than separates us as humans on this planet. "What I fear the most is that my life will pass unnoticed," a young man from Northern Siberia says, echoing a common human sentiment, and perhaps encapsulating the ultimate value of a project like this one: To notice, to reflect, and to care about ourselves and each other.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the common themes that concerned people around the world in Life in a Day 2020. What were some of the biggest differences you noticed?

  • Which stories or images stood out to you as the most memorable? Why?

  • How does this film promote empathy for and curiosity about other humans? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love documentaries

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate