No Impact Man

No Impact Man

Director: Laura Gabbert, Justin Schein

Cast: Laura Gabbert, Justin Schein, Colin Beavan, Michelle Conlin

     
 

Colin Beavan was a writer living in Manhattan who had the usual concerns over the future of the environment until he realized he wasn't doing much about it. Beavan decided that it was time he and his family did something to deal with the practical issues of global warming and environmental sustainability, so he set out on a grand experiment -- to see if he, his wife,…  See more details below

Overview

Colin Beavan was a writer living in Manhattan who had the usual concerns over the future of the environment until he realized he wasn't doing much about it. Beavan decided that it was time he and his family did something to deal with the practical issues of global warming and environmental sustainability, so he set out on a grand experiment -- to see if he, his wife, Michelle Conlin, their young daughter, and their dog could live for a year in New York City without leaving any sort of carbon footprint. Michelle, a writer for Business Week with a taste for fashion, was a hard sell for the notion of spending a year without electricity, takeout, toilet paper, or motorized transportation, but in time she agreed and found that their new life was a life-changing experience. Colin, however, found his will tested by the experience and his ideals questioned when he began writing a book about his experiences and sharing his story with the news media, becoming a minor celebrity in the process. Colin and Michelle's friends Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein are filmmakers who decided to capture the family's year of environmental purity on film, and No Impact Man is a documentary that chronicles the nuts and bolts of living a carbon-neutral life as well as how the experience impacted the family. No Impact Man was an official selection at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
New York City-based author Colin Beavan could adopt the opening lines of the Elvis Presley hit "A Little Less Conversation" as his personal mantra. Rather than just speaking his liberal opinions on environmentalism, Beavan decides to take a radical course of action: for one year, he, his wife, and their two-year-old daughter will strive to leave as little of a mark on the environment as possible. They won't take the subway (to say nothing of cars), they don't use toilet paper, and they turn off their electricity. As seen in this documentary, the project not only serves as a political statement and a one-family crusade for the earth, but it is also the basis for Beavan's next book and his blog. Though Beavan is gung-ho about the idea, his wife, writer Michelle Conlin, is less than excited about the prospect of year without shopping, takeout, diapers, and coffee. The film not only captures their individual struggles with the No Impact Project, but it also chronicles the friction in their relationship as they attempt a new lifestyle while they make a life-changing decision about their family. Though No Impact Man works on the level of a film about a single man's activism, it is also a portrait of how his work affects his relationship with his wife and child. In addition to the internal pressure, Beavan also experiences stress from outside his home as well. When media outlets pick up the news of his experience, he becomes a target of both ire and mockery for his efforts. Filmmakers Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein have created a documentary that works best as a conversation piece. It's not revolutionary in its construction or execution, but it provides talking points for environmental discussions. Few would argue that they actively want to destroy the world, but Beavan actually does something drastic to back up his stance. No Impact Man is no dry treatise on the ills of environmental destruction; instead, this often-engaging documentary not only explores its subjects' experiences with the project, but it also delves into their personal lives, offering an intimate look at how one family and one marriage react to a drastic upheaval in their routines. No Impact Man might not do for trash what Super Size Me did for fast food, but it certainly makes its audience examine their own habits in the face of the radical experiment they've just witnessed.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/19/2010
UPC:
0896602002159
Original Release:
2008
Rating:
NR
Source:
Oscilloscope
Region Code:
0
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:33:00

Special Features

No impact dating: Colin and Michelle on No Impact nights on the town; Urban cycling: bike activism in NYC; Freeganism: the virtues of gleaning food from the trash; Audience Q&A: Colin, Michelle, and filmmakers discuss the film at the Sundance Film Festival; Fruit vinegar: Colin's easy to follow recipe

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Colin Beavan Participant
Michelle Conlin Participant
Isabella Beavan Participant

Technical Credits
Laura Gabbert Director,Producer
Justin Schein Director,Cinematographer
Diana Barrett Executive Producer
Colin Beavan Co-producer
Julia Parker Benello Executive Producer
Dan Cogan Executive Producer
Michelle Conlin Co-producer
Abigail E. Disney Executive Producer
Barbara Dobkin Executive Producer
Caroleen Feeney Executive Producer
Kevin Gruneich Executive Producer
Donna Gruneich Executive Producer
William Haugse Editor
Bobby Johnston Score Composer
Matt Martin Editor
David Menschel Executive Producer
Adriana Mnuchin Executive Producer
Susan Myers Executive Producer
Gib Myers Executive Producer
Sarah Johnson Redlich Executive Producer
Juliette Timsit Executive Producer
Eden Wurmfeld Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- No Impact Man
1. No Impact Project [5:32]
2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle [2:20]
3. Composting [1:34]
4. Diapers [1:04]
5. Last Meal Out [1:32]
6. Eating Locally [2:13]
7. Ronnybrook [1:49]
8. Juice Up [2:19]
9. Dinner Party [1:13]
10. Avoid Making Trash [2:35]
11. Disposable Culture [4:23]
12. Year Without Toilet Paper [3:29]
13. Public Criticism [4:11]
14. Mayer, the Vegetable Gardner [2:06]
15. Another Child [1:43]
16. Household Cleaners and Detergent [4:19]
17. Turning Off the Power [4:25]
18. First Story Without Caffeine [2:07]
19. Self-Doubt [2:22]
20. The Pot in a Pot [5:56]
21. On the Farm [4:35]
22. Fulfilling Needs Without Harm [3:49]
23. The Days Last Forever [1:07]
24. Impact or No Impact? [:00]
25. Pregnant [4:10]
26. Positive Impact [3:46]
27. Demand Change [4:02]
28. End of a Year [3:12]
29. Reaching the Youth [2:49]
30. Turning on the Power [1:59]

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