We follow a man of advanced age walking along a misty mountain path in China. In one shot he carries a bag; in others he carries sacks of rice, or timber, or large buckets of water. He’s filmed in the morning, in the evening, and at night. The seasons change as we walk with him, through the bleakness of the winter, or on a fresh spring morning.
The low-key atmosphere, the subdued gray-green hues of the surroundings, and the absence of dialogue and music all lend this film a refreshingly understated feel. A space is opened up in which the viewer can listen to the sound of the wind, the man’s footsteps, the birds. There is time to wonder who the man is that we are following, where he is going, and what his life is like. Only at the end of his journey do we find out a little more about him.
One Day is a minimalist take on a journey that allows the viewer room to reflect on what we do with our time.