Thursday, January 28, 2010

No Impact Man (Rhoades)

“No Impact Man” Makes Impact
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

If you’re a fan of the Ed Begley Jr. TV series on Discovery’s Planet Green channel, this documentary may seem a tad familiar. While unrelated, “No Impact Man” also tells the story of a guy who decides to go green to the consternation of his less-than-committed wife.
Author Colin Beavan decides to live for one year in a way that makes zero impact on the environment. “I’m trying to live a life in line with my values,” he says in the beginning of the film.

A daunting task, for he vows to give up automated transportation, electricity, toilet paper, disposable razors, plastic bags, non-local food, magazines, and materialistic consumption. However, the challenge increases when he factors in his “espresso-guzzling, Prada-worshipping wife Michelle, and their young toddler.”

Directors Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein capture the good intentions, family strain, and angst as Beavan turns his family’s life upside down in this one-man attempt to save the planet.
“No Impact Man” – the documentary of Beavan’s do-good experiment – is currently playing at the Tropic Cinema.

What makes this film interesting is the comedy that infuses this environmental viewpoint. Not preachy, no arm-twisting. But despite Beavan’s good intentions being challenged by his spouse, you’ll get the message that every individual can do his or her part.

“We’re just cutting down too many trees,” he says. “We need the trees to save the planet. And the polar bears.”

The film is based on Colin Beavan’s book, “No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process.” Too bad trees were cut down to make the paper used to publish Beavan’s book. Life isn’t perfect.
[from Solares Hill]

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