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16 October 2020

Unmasking selfishness.

by Jason Stone



Volvo: “A Million More” - 1 min 53s

This moving film opens by describing public and media resistance when Volvo introduced the three-point safety belt. It could hardly be more timely, as it encapsulates the dissent faced by those advocating various public health measures in our fight to control coronavirus… not least, the encouragement to wear face coverings in a public setting.

It's a useful reminder that there has always been a section of the population for whom personal sacrifice is too big a price to pay for public good. (Ironically, this selfish minority is most likely to lionise the sacrifices made by their armed forces in years gone by… but, given the opportunity to emulate - in some small way - the heroism they admire by sacrificing a little personal comfort for the greater good, they hide behind spurious notions of personal liberty and behave like spoiled brats.)

Laerke Hertoni's beautiful film offers a perfect illustration of the true value of implementing effective safety measures, and it does it in the most human way possible by drawing our attention to some of the stories of the million or so people whose lives have been saved by one particular innovation.

In less than two minutes, we are introduced to a number of road crash survivors whose lives have been dramatically impacted by seatbelts, and we are left in no doubt that those who once claimed that wearing a seatbelt was an infringement of their liberty have been revealed to be fools on the wrong side of history.

The intimate storytelling delivers this idea without a hint of sensationalism, and this hugely amplifies the message's effectiveness.

This film was being prepared before the advent of Covid-19 and the parallels with the current crisis – stark as they are – are not intentional, but in our view that only adds to the power of the analogy.

The widespread acceptance of seatbelts today is a reminder that we shouldn't need hindsight to identify the wisdom of a selfless act.

It's worth noting that even without the powerful face-mask allegory that this is a fantastic piece of work which successfully reinforces the idea that Volvo are still at the forefront when it comes to the safety of everyone travelling inside a car, and that also makes this a very powerful piece of advertising.


Film Production: New Land
Director: Laerke Herthoni ♀
Producer: Kalle Wettre
Executive Producer: Sophie Tamm Christensen
Cinematographer: Mattias Rudh

David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.