Last week, an extended version of Herzog’s PSA, From One Second to the Next, was released online for free. Having finished it a few moments ago and regained my composure, I thought it’d be worthwhile to write about it here. You see, although From One Second to the Next is indeed a PSA, presented by AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, it feels far more like a Werner Herzog film than a forced agenda announcement, which is certainly good news for people who value compelling cinema.
From One Second to the Next spends 35 minutes telling four separate stories, all involving people who have been irreversibly effected by those who text and drive. The film begins with Xzavier’s story, and the added context of the expanded interview proves to be utterly devastating. In addition to Xzavier’s mother, Herzog (who remains off camera and silent throughout the film) interviews Xzavier’s sister, who recalls holding her brother’s hand as they walked down the street one afternoon. After a car ran a stop sign, she looked down and noticed Xzavier’s hand was no longer holding hers. The guilt and pain in the sister’s eyes say more than any confessional could.
From One Second to the Next should be required viewing for any 15-year-old preparing to get his or her learner’s permit. In addition, it should be seen by anyone who owns a cell phone, and operates an automobile. Beyond that, if you appreciate captivating filmmaking, then you’ll respect the hell out of Herzog for what he’s done here. From One Second to the Next is the best short film I’ve viewed so far this year, and I’ve seen handfuls of them. Watch it with people you care about, with plenty of tissues to go around, or perhaps a stiff drink to nurse. Herzog doesn’t pull any punches with this one. A
Watch From One Second to the Next in full right here: