Excellent and entertaining example of practical philosophy
I do not think that, as one other reviewer here obviously does, this documentary is staged. Of course he has to "catch himself" at the beginning of a scene, whatever that means, as it is an extremely personal movie. One example that underlines the realness of the movie and the effort undertaken by all involved, in my opinion, is how the girlfriend is filmed only minimally. Tell me one reason why to do this if it were staged!? Also other aspects, that only make sense as a documentary. THIS FILM IS NOT STAGED. The director (and star) compiled this documentary out of many, many hours of material, after the experiment was finished(think of the grandmother), and it is well documented in newspaper articles and such that he really undertook this experiment (he became a semi-celebrity in his native country). If all that were fake, it seems just a little less effort than the real deal, and therefore I find it hard to believe that this isn't sincere. Don't believe the naysayer (singular, I am sure).
Generally speaking, this movie is a must-watch for people who love any kind of documentary and are interested how different mindsets navigate through our, let's face it, more and more materialistic world. It not only shows (doesn't tell) the viewer how the most important things can not be bought, which is something almost everyone knows, but still ignores in daily life, and also at the same time asserting the importance that things do, after all, have in our lives, as memorabilia, nostalgic things that are "useless" but we hold on to nevertheless, and so almost this documentary becomes an elegy for a kind of overlap of material and immaterial realms of humankind, likable to the overlap between the material vinyl record (nowadays nostalgic, because non-CD & non-digital) and the immaterial music, which then remains, connotation-like, as part of the silent-again record.
Because, as the poet Robert Duncan (1919-1988) once wrote so aptly:
When silence / Blooms in the house, all the paraphernalia of our existence / Shed the twitterings of value and reappear as heraldic devices.
What value has the life of a homeless man compared to the life of a millionaire? Surely the latter hast more "twitterings" of value in his mansion, but maybe, just maybe, the homeless will one day HAVE just what he needs, not more, nor less, and BE just what he wants to be, not less, whereas the millionaire more often than not can very well BE less than he wants to be, despite all his wealth-induced prestige. Therefore for further reading I (strongly) recommend:
"To Have or to Be?" by the social psychologist ERICH FROMM, first published in 1976.
This movie, this EXPERIMENT, made more than a 35 years after Fromm's insights, represents nothing less than a psychological self-experiment with philosophical implications - and it is a very entertaining one, too.
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