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How might your life be better with less? Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things examines the many flavors of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life -- families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker -- all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less.
We're not going to ever be able to achieve the environmental gains that we're seeking, while still expecting our lives to be the same. We're going have to give up a lot. The secret is that a lot of that we're not actually going to miss.
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I have been getting into Minimalism and reading the blogs/listening to the podcasts of not only The Minimalist but many others featured in this film. So when notices came up about this movie I thought, heck ya, I'll go see it. And ,I'm sure like some others in the theater, I dragged along a loved one to see what they thought.
The unfortunate thing is that this movie gives out nothing of practical value to one who has not been researching, reading books, and watching YouTube videos on the subject. It's a nice promo and there is a smattering of interesting information...but not much.
The problem is on both ends of the spectrum. At the beginning of the spectrum is "what do I DO to be minimalist?" and the other end of the spectrum is "what is my actual end PURPOSE in becoming a minimalist?" This movie does not really address either end.
If you wanna talk PURPOSE go read James Wallman's Stuffocation. Brilliant book. Why do I and others get into Minimalism? Minimalism is the stepping stone towards clearing the way to going after what you REALLY want. Wallman's book discusses it in detail. This movie should have had a lot more of that. Especially in the case of Colin Wright. They had Colin Wright in the movie for, like, a minute. But his story is a lot more interesting. For him, Minimalism was not the end game...travel was the end game. Minimalism is how he achieved it. There should have been a lot more stories in the movie along this vein.
So how about the beginning of the spectrum? Here they failed too. Before the movie started a loud couple behind me were chatting away and one couldn't help but hear the conversation. The woman asked "does this have anything to do with that woman who wrote the Tidying Up book?" I couldn't help but inwardly smirk slightly...except in the end this woman had a point.
Some practical advice on HOW to go minimalist would have been as handy as some "other spectrum end" stuff on the why of it. There was a little bit about the 333 Project, but hell, The Minimalists didn't even discuss the famous "packing party." Numerous 5-minute videos on YouTube are going to give you more practical advice than you get here. There wasn't even any talk about psychology or your relationship to your things. This is an important aspect of the topic.
A few good things: that woman who discussed marketing and advertising...she was good. Interesting story about that newscaster that lost it on air. And Sam Harris. You can always give me more Sam Harris.
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