No Impact Man
In Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein’s documentary, an ecologically obsessed New York City writer more or less bullies his wife, their toddler and the family dog into a radical change of lifestyle, intending to go a whole year leaving no carbon footprint. (And advocating for the sustainable farming of white middle-class do-gooder guilt.) Well, somebody had to do it. To give you a sense of Colin Beavan’s priorities, here’s a guy who hesitates to have another baby not because he knows that diapers are the third largest source of trash in landfills, but because it’s his wife’s idea; he just wants to publicize his project. This doesn’t mean he’s not a compelling figure, just that the movie could have used a more developed sense of irony. In the end, it’s hard not to become distracted by wondering how much energy a documentary production requires and whether it would have been better just to go out and plant some trees instead.