LEGENDARY DIRECTOR WERNER Herzog is known for his documentaries on plane crash survivors, death row inmates and grizzly bears. But a short film by the German could be his most affecting work yet.
Focusing on people whose lives have been impacted by accidents caused by drivers who were texting, From One Second To the Next is an unflinchingly honest and emotional documentary.
In the US, there are 100,000 accidents a year involving drivers who are texting, meaning the lives of potentially tens of thousands of people have been drastically altered by one simple action.
“I knew I could do it because it has to do with catastrophic events invading a family,” said Herzog of the 35-minute film.
In one second, entire lives are either wiped out or changed forever. That kind of emotional resonance is something that I knew I could cover.
The documentary can be watched at ItCanWait.com and will be distributed by AT&T to more than 40,000 high schools in the USA, as well as hundreds of safety organisations and government agencies.
“What AT&T proposed immediately clicked and connected inside of me,” said Herzog.
There’s a completely new culture out there. I’m not a participant of texting and driving — or texting at all — but I see there’s something going on in civilisation which is coming with great vehemence at us.
The film expands on the 30-second commercials that the director created for the “It Can Wait” campaign, an initiative launched by AT&T to raise awareness about the topic. Herzog, who has spoken out about the intrusion of marketing in creative mediums, doesn’t mind the sponsorship.
“It’s very easy to reconcile that,” said Herzog. “This has nothing to do with consumerism or being part of advertising products. This whole campaign is rather dissuading you from excessive use of a product. It’s a campaign. We’re not trying to sell anything to you. We’re not trying to sell a mobile phone to you. We’re trying to raise awareness.”
In the film, Herzog meets both the victims and those responsible for the devastating accidents.
“While I was driving I decided texting and driving was more important to me than those two men were to their families,” says one driver, as tears pour down his face.
“And how selfish that was of me to make that decision to text and drive.”
- Additional reporting AP