A Day in the Life of America

On July 4th, 2017, director Jared Leto flung 92-film crews across the country to capture the most ambitious single day snapshot of our country ever attempted.

man running into the sunset with American flag wrapped around him
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
January 11, 2021
90 minutes
filmmaker Jared Leto

Jared Leto

Jared Leto is an actor, musician, director and entrepreneur. His extensive work as an actor has included a host of transformative performances. Leto’s role in Dallas Buyers Club, earned him over 40 Best Supporting Actor honors including an Academy Award. His work as a director has also garnered him accolades including winning the People’s Choice Awards Show more for best documentary for Artifact and over a dozen MTV VMA awards for his work in music videos. He now brings documentary, A Day in The Life of America, enlisting the help of the public, Leto created an expansive portrait of the USA over a 24-hour time frame. Show less


Emma Ludbrook

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The Film

On July 4th, 2017, actor and director Jared Leto sent 92 film crews to all 50 states – plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico – to capture Americans in the midst of life, liberty, and their particular pursuit of happiness. The resulting cinematic portrait captures one day in the life of America, complete with happiness, heartache, compassion, fear, celebration, contemplation, pride, and distress. A female truck driver filling her rig in Wisconsin at dawn; an adventurous motorcyclist zipping through California’s winding mountain roads; large drunken men donning rifles and vodka bottles in the early Kansas afternoon; a same-sex couple in matching Star Spangled Banner onsies in a Texas roller rink; an African American family enjoying a community bar-b-que in the shadows of a Louisiana overpass; alternating crowds celebrating and protesting the president in Washington D.C.; a white mom in North Carolina sewing hoods for an upcoming KKK rally in Charlottesville. Every American tale adds to the composite image, creating an unflinching snapshot—beauty, ugliness, and everything in-between—of the depth and breadth of the American experience.