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Watch Less is More: How to be Happy with Nothing | Prime Video
The car, the library and a wardrobe full of clothes. Status symbols of yesterday. Today car sharing, swap markets and minimalism are booming as aspects of a lifestyle that rejects materialism. The cult of "less is more" is slowly spilling over from the United States to Europe.
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Top reviews from the United States
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I was happy to run across this, especially during the time of year where people are going crazy with consumerism. However, this film is SO BORING! The concept itself is interesting, but the monotonous tone of the narrator, boring flow, and dreary film quality makes it barely suitable for the local public access channel. The fact that it focuses exclusively on Europeans may also make it difficult for many Americans to relate (depending on how cross-cultural they are) even though the essence is the same. If not, there is at least the fact that the featured people in the film are mostly Europeans that were fairly wealthy before deciding to downsize, and thus were able to do it with a good financial cushion to fall back on.
Reviewed in the United States on November 28, 2016
nothing more enjoyable than watching a documentary on successful and/or affluent people thinking its a novel idea to get rid of 30 cars or one of their several homes....I thought this would be for average to poor people learning how to live on $10 an hour...waste, unless you like watching rich people struggle to downsize their mansions
Made in 2013, this video looks at those that are living with less in Europe while also looking at "sharing" programs for sharing things like homes, cars, and household items. The documentary German with English voiceovers that get incredibly annoying after a while. I would have liked to have seen more "people-next-door" stories profiled. Those shown seem to be more fly by the seat of your pants people. One does discuss being concerned with poverty in old age, otherwise they seems to be spending their time traveling and playing badminton. Why not show simplistic living in the workplace, or show someone at their 9-5 job going home and living the simplistic life. This just didn't resonate with me.
I liked the thoughts about making the world less crammed with junk and more open to experience. Perfect choice to lead with the guy that only has 50 things. Cool hammock and space he lives in but he's obviously enriched by experiences. I enjoyed observing the young family going about their day. The produce market scene made me jealous because there was no blaring music or aisles of junk or convenience food to tempt prospective buyers. One of the guys noted that being minimalist is probably easier for privileged people who are informed on ways to reduce consumption. I was disappointed in the guy who butchers and eats the pigs he considers his friends. But I liked his thinking about growing plants and judicious use of machines. The borrowing store was one of my favorite segments. I liked the general quietness espoused by the people in their lifestyles. The film seemed to succeed in "selling" conscious living. Seeing all these people acting out their principles was cool but I wanted more emphasis on the ideas behind this trend.
This is a great documentary on how we CAN do without, but they missed some important points, though implied, if you were observant. For instance, none of these people owned a TV set. When I couldn't afford cable anymore, I decided I could have everything I needed with my computer. (You noticed how many in this film had computers of one sort or another.) The added blessing of not having a TV was, after about a week or so, I discovered I could think again, that is, independently and critically. Having the TV on, but not watching it, doesn't allow you to think. If you can hear it, it controls your thinking, which is also why allowing the TV to babysit your children is also a bad idea. The people in this film had that same ability for critical and independent thinking. How many people spend $200+ a month for cable and, because they work long hours, sometimes at two and three jobs, they have no time to watch it. A total waste of a lot of money.
In the U.S., many people think minimalism is about spending less for one's needs (DIY), and or organizing what they have. Spending less IS important, but merely organizing what you have misses the point. Minimalism is about getting rid of things you really don't need, then you don't have to be overly concerned with organizing what you do have, and many of the organisation remedies actually take up more space than the "cluttered" situation took up. Our brains are so cluttered with all our stuff that we can't even see these sort of ridiculous "remedies".
I heard someone say once, "Too many people, are buying too many things, to impress too many people, they don't even like." Does one really need two homes, or 4 bedrooms for two people, or half a dozen vehicles, or expensive jewelry (I wear no jewelry at all), or expensive clothes, or expensive club memberships, etc., etc.? Keeping up with the Joneses has run away with us, which is why so many married mother's went to work, which in turn is why the divorce rate skyrocketed (men started feeling emasculated, with no more purpose in their being, and women made their ability to earn more important than their husband's need for purpose and their marriage to survive) and so many children have grown up with the lack of proper nurturing, resulting in two generations of kids, who lack social skills, character, a sense of responsibility, and work ethics. This is not conjecture, but historical fact, which can be proven in the statistics from 1970 on.
What this film points out, very poignantly, is the greater importance and value of human relationships, not through social media, but face to face and in the family unit, and the amount of time that having less affords them, because they don't have to spend it in the maintenance of all their stuff.
Other reviewers pointed out that these people started out with plenty of money to support them in their living with less, which means they missed the fact that not all these people had plenty of money before. They also missed the fact that those who did have more money and had a lot of stuff before, gave it all up, because they realized they were spending more money, time, and energy maintaining all that stuff, which meant by giving it all up, they had more money, more time, and more energy to do the things they REALLY enjoyed most in life. Not to condemn those reviewers, they are among the millions of others caught in the same trap of the inability to think critically and independently, but more importantly, they are, at least, searching for answers, unlike many millions of others who are caught in this trap.
I give this only four stars, because it didn't address the more common issues in the U.S. It did point out, however, that deprivation leads one to understand the ability and value of getting by with less. Deprivation is a concept very few in the U.S. have any imagination for, and this is THE REAL PROBLEM surrounding consumerism in our country.
Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2016
The concept is pretty good. A breath of fresh air for someone living in a consumist world it's great to see people sharing things and living a simple life and actually being happy doing it. Bravo. I'm only giving 3 stars because I wish it had more range of places that do that kinda of sharing but this documentary stayed pretty much in one place in Germany I think but it was worth watching for sure.
It's a nice little German documentary, especially if you're starting on this path and want a boost. Unfortunately, because the spoken parts are done not by actors but interpreters--understandably, and they did their job 100% appropriately and professionally--the life got sucked out of the story.
I enjoyed the documentary. Such calm, friendly, cool people making personal choices..and some of them are wealthy..wow..that is really refreshing because there are so many living beyond their means, in debt because they compulsively keep purchasing stuff they do not really need and afford. Many are emotional and impulsive shoppers trying to fill avoid with things. I wish I understood the deutsch language, in their own words. without having to read translation.