Just thought you might like to hear what film critic Betsy Sharkey of the LA Times had to say about the No Impact Man documentary screening at Sundance:
Walking out of directors Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein's terrifically entertaining new documentary, "No Impact Man," which followed writer Colin Beavan and his family as they sought to transform their lives into ones that would have no harmful ecological impact on the world, I felt energized -- if we all just did a little, imagine...
Much of the film examines the philosophical divide between taking collective action and individual action with Beavan basically coming down on the side of the butterfly effect -- whatever action, or inaction, we take affects something or someone around us. And so for a year, Beavan, his wife, the journalist Michelle Conlin and their daughter Isabelle, began phasing out most of what the rest of us take for granted -- down to the toilet paper.
All of which could have produced a film that was a preachy examination of self-righteousness. But it didn't; it's a balanced blend of information and humor as idealism and longtime lifestyle patterns collide. In large part, that's thanks to Michelle, who becomes our voice in the production -- from her admitted addiction to everything from shopping to coffee (no beans are grown within the roughly 250 mile radius they set for any of the food products they bought), to her discomfort with the composting bin in the house, complete with earthworms and, in the summer, flies.
And so, as I left the theater, I decided to try to find little ways to lower what I now really know more clearly than ever is my own negative eco impact. That first step? Walk back to my hotel rather than take Park City's shuttle -- or as I now think of it, the Magic Bus -- the name I came up with on a very long, very aerobic, walk uphill. Funny, I hadn't realized I was so far up the hill before....
--Film critic Betsy Sharkey
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.