Videos » Features

No Impact Man (T/F 2009) by Laura Gabbert & Justin Schein

Available from Hulu.

What are you willing to give up to provide your ancestors a future? For city-dwelling Colin Beavan and his wife Michelle Conlin. The answer is nearly everything, as they go cold turkey from civilization, weaning themselves off the power grid, agribusiness and other modern conveniences leading to our downfall. Michelle, standing in for those reluctant to change our wasteful ways, humanizes the film in a big way, as she struggles with among other sacrifices the loss of a refrigerator by a not terribly effective Nigerian clay pot in a pot. Colin becomes an overnight media magnet, but this also attracts naysayers and skeptics, embodied most effectively in a longtime urban gardener who’s been fighting the good fight for much longer than Colin. With tight editing and a knack for being there at key junctures, Gabbert and Schein deliver a knotty story about one family standing in for humanity at the abyss.