Film Director Werner Herzog

Film director Werner Herzog.

A 35-minute-long documentary by film director Werner Herzog on the dangers of texting while driving debuted last Thursday in Los Angeles, writes Bianca Bosker for Huff Post Tech. The film, called “From One Second to the Next,” will be distributed by AT&T to more than 40,000 high schools plus hundreds of safety groups and government agencies, writes Derrik J. Lang for Associated Press (AP) in an article appearing on Yahoo! News.

Herzog, 70, who was voted the 35th “Greatest Director of All Time” by Entertainment Weekly, focused on directing feature films earlier in his career, like “Fitzcarraldo,” and “Aguirre: The Wrath of God,” but has also made dozens of documentaries, according to his bio on IMDB.com. He told Associated Press what inspired him to make the distracted driving documentary:

‘It always depends on the project itself,’ said the German-born filmmaker. ‘What AT&T proposed immediately clicked and connected inside of me. 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 civilization which is coming with great vehemence at us.’ […]

‘I knew I could do it because it has to do with catastrophic events invading a family,’ said Herzog, who has alternated between fiction (‘Rescue Dawn’) and non-fiction (‘Grizzly Man’) throughout his career. ‘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.’

“From One Second to the Next” expands on the 30-second commercials that Herzog created for AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign to raise awareness about why people should not text while driving, AP writes. As Huff Post Tech writes: “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 3,331 people were killed by distracted driving in 2011, and that “at any given daylight moment across America,” 660,000 drivers will be using mobile devices while at the wheel.”

The film profiles victims of distracted driving and features conversations with the drivers. Huff Post Tech reports that one such driver in the film — whose car side-swiped another one while he typed on his phone, causing the other car to careen into oncoming traffic — says: “Knowing every day that you killed two people is one of the hardest things that you can live with.”

The film is free to watch online, at ItCanWait.com. You can also see it here:

Image by Erinc Salor.

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