No Impact Man Review

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A documentary following Colin Beavan and his family during their year-long experiment to reduce their carbon-footprint.


A resistible smugness coarses through this vérité account of New Yorker Colin Beavanz’s bid to write a book about a year spent reducing his carbon footprint. Seizing every opportunity to promote himself as much as his cause, Beavan imposes his decision on business journalist wife Michelle Conlin and their toddler daughter Isabella with the same chauvinistic certitude as evidenced by his refusal to contemplate a second child. But his green strategies (which he occasionally compromises, when convenient) are nowhere near as intriguing as either Conlin’s reluctant rethinking of her entrenched capitalism or the hippy philosophising of allotment-owning buddy Mayer Vishner, which make much better cases for adopting a socially responsible lifestyle than Beavan’s rampant eco-egotism. Compelling, but irksome.

An intriguing documentary offering trial and experiment. Somewhat didactic, it is not the greatest of cinematic exercises.