Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

Minimalism Documentary Review

I have been anxiously awaiting the release of Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things since they first started talking about it at least a year ago. Despite my high expectations, the film didn’t disappoint.

Minimalism is a must see for anyone who wants a little inspiration to be less stressed, more fulfilled, and more connected with themselves and the people around them.

I went into the film feeling a bit like I’ve heard all of Joshua Fields Millburn’s and Ryan Nicodemus’ stories over and over. I was worried it would be another retelling of how they got into minimalism, but instead they crafted an incredible film full of fascinating people who have made their lives more meaningful. They didn’t even focus solely on the “stuff,” but rather they delved into how over-working and constantly distracting ourselves led us away from living the lives we want.

Minimalism was visually stunning. The scenery throughout was amazing, and the music was so good I’m hoping they release the soundtrack.

I also really enjoyed seeing what it was like for The Minimalists on their book tour a couple of years ago when a handful of people would attend and comparing to how many people show up now. People know who they are, and minimalism is clearly spreading.

From fast fashion to information overwhelm to expanding homes to fit all of our stuff, the film took a holistic look at our discontent and our consumption of all things. They delved into the environmental impact of our lifestyles, something they have avoided in the past, and put minimalism in the context of the global community instead of just inside our closets.

Despite it being a pretty heavy topic with terrifying footage of people fighting each other over Black Friday deals, there were times where I laughed. There were also so many times where I found myself nodding along and thinking ‘yes, that’s me.’

Of all of the many incredible people featured in the film, I really connected with Dan Harris, the author of 10% Happier and ABC news anchor. He and I are the over-worriers. The stressed-out over achievers. The ones who make ourselves sick because that’s what we do best.

“For a guy who spent his whole life worrying and thinking that my worrying was the edge I had over everybody else because I knew I was going to be more anxious more compulsive than any of my competitors, I realized that there is a certain amount of worrying that is what I call ‘constructive anguish’ and then there’s just useless rumination that’s just making you miserable.” Dan Harriss

I didn’t leave the theater transformed – perhaps I’m already past that point. But I did leave it comforted by how many other people sat in the theater next to me, nodding along and thinking about how they want to live more meaningful lives.

For more on The Minimalists, check out their blog, books, and podcast.

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