50 people, one question

A beautiful video. If you haven’t watched it, then please do before you read on.

The thing that struck me was the pacing of the video. We don’t hear the question until almost three minutes in. When we do, we then don’t hear the people’s answers immediately. There is nothing immediate about this video, although there are moments of quick revelation that catch the breath and brim the eye. I was so moved as I watched the faces of those interviewed as they ingested the question; the surge of emotion as they think about it is heartbreaking.

It occurs to me that the power of this video is in the connection we viewers feel with the subjects. Seeing the question break across the minds of one person, then another, then another, we are given time to really let it sink into our own minds. Each one of these individual vox pops would have been over in a couple of minutes. It is the skilled direction that makes this art. Art is about framing something, throwing something into relief, casting light on something and saying “hey, look at this”. For me, the crux of the video is that portion where they think. The answers are interesting, but it is the nameless regrets that the film touches in its subjects—among whom we, of course, are numbered—that makes this a brilliant study.

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