[This is a guest review written by Jonathan Kraft]
Running a web site about going green, people often recommend movies and products to me which they think I should check out. Thus, I was led to check out a web site about Michael Reynolds and the film Garbage Warrior.
Looking at the web site, I thought that I would surely learn from this movie, so I added it to my Netflix queue.
I told my wife this movie was coming in the mail, and both of us were really looking forward to watching Garbage Warrior because we thought we would learn unique and cool concepts for building earth-friendly homes.
While the movie directed by Oliver Hodge does touch on the concepts of the homes built by Michael Reynolds (called EarthShips), it really is much more of a chronicle of one man’s 30 year journey and his challenges of fighting the status quo. In other words, this was not quite the movie we expected.
The creators of Garbage Warrior presented the information in a way that had a very “fight the man” feeling to it, spending a significant portion of the movie lambasting public officials and bureaucracy for their slowness to respond to good ideas.
It was unfortunate really… to hold us captive for 2 hours, waiting and wanting for some specific knowledge of something we could do in the real world. I watched the documentary for any concrete action I could take, and it fell short of providing me with even one complete concept of something I could use in the construction of a future home for myself (or for a project I may work on somewhere in the world).
The movie simply hinted at the ideas without really giving me any actions to take. Admittedly, this could be due to the fact that I approached the movie with the perspective that I was going to learn something about building concepts, rather than learn about the individual (Michael Reynolds).
On the plus side, when I do either buy the books about Michael Reynolds’ EarthShips building concepts, or check them out from the library (which is more likely actually), I think I’ll have a much greater appreciation for all the work it’s taken for those books to be written and the EarthShip concepts to be developed.
Also, since seeing the movie, I have found myself open to looking at discarded water bottles and soda cans in an entirely different light. This is definitely a good start for thinking about more sustainable practices in my own life, as well as for any architectural projects in which I might take part.
If you are going to see Garbage Warrior, you should know that it’s much more about the man and the mission than the actual strategy and tactics of building environment friendly homes. If you approach the movie with that conceptual understanding, you’re likely to walk away with a better impression of Garbage Warrior.
Guest film critic Jonathan Kraft runs a highly active online community called GreenJoyment, where people come to learn about going green and planet-friendly concepts.