Released earlier this month on DVD and on Vimeo and now coming to iTunes and Amazon VOD tomorrow, Friday, September 30: MINIMALISM: A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE IMPORTANT THINGS
Matt D’Avella’s look at life, pared down, debuted at the Los Angeles Art-House Film Festival last year. Other fest play has included Raindance, Lone Star, St Louis, Big Sky Doc, Fargo, and AmDocs.
Inspired by the adventures of its main protagonists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, known as the Minimalists, who have shared their story previously via their website, podcasts, and books, D’Avella’s film profiles individuals who have rejected a consumer-focused existence to live life more simply. As the Minimalists travel on a book tour, they reveal how they shed their previous ways and the stress it has alleviated. Expanding beyond their example, D’Avella interviews a range of others who have also embraced the concepts of minimalist living, which doesn’t advocate giving up everything but instead challenges people to be more thoughtful about consumption and the reasons for it. At its heart the concept is simple and pragmatic, and there’s an immediate and convincing appeal. If the film comes off as evangelical, that’s partly the point, but can be offputting to some viewers, as is the project’s somewhat unavoidable lack of visual dynamism. While professionally shot, the bulk of the film consists of people talking about the changes they’ve made rather than showing the viewer that process in practice.