No Impact Man

Rated NR 2009

New York author Colin Beavan orchestrated a campaign to package himself, along with his wife and toddler daughter, into a book-movie-blog deal about how they “went off the grid” by giving up such “essentials” as TV, coffee, processed food, and even electricity, in order to tear the average consumer lifestyle down to its bare essentials and thus leave the smallest possible footprint on the Earth. Or some such. This documentary, directed for Beavan by Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein, shows how that went. Never mind that they only shut off their Con Ed power for a few months (it was billed as a year-long commitment) or that Beavan’s stunt received an all-out media blitz — the real effect can be seen in the attitudinal shift of his wife Michelle Conlin, an initial doubter who becomes the moral center of this contrived little enviro vignette. Approach with caution, but approach (93 min.).

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