Drama and Reality Collide in Award-Winning 20,000 Days On Earth

Bodkin Ras occupies the unknown space which lies between documentary and fiction, placing mysterious fictional character Bodkin Ras in the Scottish town of Forres. As the thriller unfolds, Bodkin interacts with locals: the only characters these real people play in the movie are themselves.

Similarly, 20,000 Days On Earth occupies a space somewhere in between fiction and reality, following a day in the life of Australian rocker Nick Cave as he records his most recent album “Push the Sky Away”.

20,000 Days On Earth

Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s movie, which was screened as part of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at Sundance 2014, plunges the audience into 24 hours in the life of the musician, whose unscripted conversations chart his artistic process.

So far, so documentary, right?

In fact, Cave’s 20,000th day on earth itself is purely fictitious with it’s staged scenarios and fabricated scenes. The difficulty of classifying this film as an outright documentary lies within the cinematic collision of this fiction and the rocker’s unscripted, conversational reality. The movie’s creators describe this convergence:

“Drama and reality combine in a fictitious 24 hours in the life of musician and international culutural icon Nick Cave. With startlingly frank insights and an intimate portrayal of the artistic process, the film examines what makes us who we are, and celebrates the transformative power of the creative spirit.”

20,000 Days On Earth

This combination of drama and reality is part of what makes the film so exciting – and it’s not just us filmmakers whose attention has been grabbed. The movie has already won awards for it’s direction and for it’s editing (by Johnathan Ames) in Sundance’s World Cinema Competition.

20,000 Days On Earth is an great exploration of the blurred lines existing between fiction and reality. Our convergent documentary-thriller tips it’s hat to Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard who have shown with style the way that the two can converge and co-exist successfully on-screen.