FILM REVIEW: No Impact Man
In this locally filmed and produced documentary, writer Colin Beavan, wife, and two year old daughter conduct a social experiment attempting to reduce their carbon footprint. For an entire year, the family quests to eliminate consumer waste by ditching electricity, disposable diapers, non-local food, and all modes of transportation except biking and walking – even elevators. Although one has to speculate how much of Beavan’s good intent is reversed by the documentary camera crew following him constantly, he does create an eye-opening exhibit of the exorbitant wastefulness of consumerism, as well as the fact that the general public has remained largely ignorant to it. Because of the extremity of Beavan’s lifestyle change, the viewer is forced to realize the extent of his own extravagance. The Beavan family is captured on film doing things most city-dwellers would never dream of doing – hand-making cleaning agents, reading bedtime stories by candlelight, and just saying no to caffeine. If, after watching this film, a viewer thinks twice about using plastic bags or starts eating locally more often, I think Mr. Beavan’s hard year of living almost entirely “green” will not have been in vain.