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TIFF 2016 Review: India In a Day

Richie Mehta’s powerful feature India in a Day may feel at times like the Beastie Boys Awesome: I F’n’ Shot That, (though there is another progenitor, the concert film jumps to mind immediately.

The concept of the film is that Google powered an initiative to get residents of the country to power up their cameras, smartphones, pretty much anything to tape the footage. The idea is that they were filming one day, just one ordinary day. The mountain of footage acquired may have been quite stunning, though Mehta, alongside his collaborators including Sir Ridley Scott), helped to craft a coherent narrative.

Though the experience gets off to something of a slow start, it becomes clear how this audience-submitted content becomes able to be crafted into a fully-formed narrative. The real revelation of the film arrives towards the ending, in which it becomes clear that India in a Day is really everywhere in a day, and that hopes and fears about where we are heading become standard and shared ones. We’re all a part of that.

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