Matt D’Avella’s Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things argues that ‘living less’ equates to a better quality of life.
From an early age, we are taught that materials of any form can aid us in checking boxes towards achieving a more fulfilling lifestyle. From the representation of luxury in print and online advertisements, to movies on the silver screen, the idea persists that there is always something more to be gained. We are taught that devoting oneself to consumerism is the key to happiness.
Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus aim to destroy this very concept through their promotion of minimalism as a lifestyle. The duo are known leaders of the emerging trend, and have campaigned about it through self-help books, lectures, podcasts, and a new film from D’Avella that is currently streaming on Netflix.
Their ideology is similar to that of now-famous organizing consultant Marie Kondo: throwing out any item in your home that serves no purpose. This will lead you to live only with the necessities, helping you to live your life more independently.
Minimalism, as shown in this documentary, goes beyond decluttering the tangible. It also means freeing your mind to focus on what’s most important: prioritizing things that are deeply rooted in your heart.
Nicodemus emphasizes that devoting oneself to a minimalist lifestyle is to devote yourself to the most genuine aspects of your life. This is where the heart and soul of the film truly shines through.
Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things is a very enriching watch, but it is not the quintessential resource about minimalism. It deals with a multitude of subtopics about the subject, without really providing an extensive observation for each. It is, however, a great stepping stone into this popular new way of life.