Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

The documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things on Netflix talks about ‘things’, what matters in life, what true happiness is and how it can be hard to find because of how society is structured around mass consumption. Just in time for Christmas, eh?

It’s officially December and Christmas is just around the corner, the streets of Dublin are busy with people searching for the perfect Christmas gifts for friends and family, shopping bags swinging from their arms, a constant stream in and out of the seasonally lit stores.

There are different views on gift giving and receiving and the story behind the generous practice has also changed throughout the years; from a remembrance of the gifts given to Jesus by the Wise Men to the bearded man that climbs down your chimney in the middle of the night – the lovely Mr. Claus.

Although the tradition of gifts during Christmas is a nice one, and it is nice to surprise loved ones with something they’ve wished for, it can be easy to get wrapped up (pun intended) in the materialistic sense of it all. The things we run around the city center to get for the ones we care about is not what will make them the happiest – ready for the cliché to drop – it’s you.

In his documentary about minimalism, director Matt D’Avella takes the audience inside the lives of different types of people who call themselves minimalists; families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker, all of whom have chosen to live with less.

It can be easy to forget that all the stuff we are so eager to buy, for ourselves or for others, is ultimately just stuff. Something new that will make us happy for a short while, before the next something new. Imagine your old iPhone (or feel free to insert another brand here) that you loved dearly, an inseparable companion, where is it now? In a drawer collecting dust or sold to a stranger?

If you’re stressed out about Christmas shopping or just interested in the topic of minimalism, it’s a good one to watch. So what do you think, is less really more?

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