Ryan Irelan

is building Mijingo and doing limited consulting.

Minimalism Documentary

A documentary (just out on Netflix yesterday) about living with less and in smaller places.

My immediate thoughts on it after watching it last night:

  • Good message
  • Too narrow of a slice of society. Every person in the film is similar. I’d bet there are non-San Francisco -Portland, etc. people who are interested in minimalism.
  • Felt like it was speaking to its existing tribe (validation!) instead of reaching out. Progessive issues like this are doomed if they’re always looking inward.
  • It focused so much on tiny houses but that’s a tiny part of minimalism. Tiny houses are hard to identify with (I’d never live in one). There are other parts of minimalism that are easier to identify with, like tying it close to finances, using your money wisely (as if it was 1:1 with emotional energy), and knowing that you don’t need more to be happy.

All in all, a good film but it misses on many levels. It was done in a way to not be broadly appealing to those who aren’t already interested. The real potential audience for this are people who are looking to shed over-consumption. This film makes minimalism look kind of like a freak show that only consists of the eccentric lot.

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