As the tiny homes movement has picked up traction, dreamy stories of such a lifestyle’s ease and freedom have become abundant. But can it really be so easy? The recently released documentary Small Is Beautiful follows four people as they put their visions of downsizing to the test — but the film refuses to simply scratch the surface and rehash romantic notions of living minimally. By offering a peek into each person’s past, personality and process, viewers gain deeper insight into a range of emotions and experiences that can prompt individuals to not only opt to live small, but commit to constructing their own shelter, too.The documentary’s subjects have little to no prior building experience, but through a combination of circumstance and sweat, they’re able to put down pint-sized roots. Revelations about what they’ve gained and what they’ve lost arise for each of them along the way, and they all find that communication and community are critical for achieving their tiny home dreams.
This mix of idealism and healthy realism make for an inspiring, down-to-earth documentary. Watch it online.
Amanda Sorell is an Associate Editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine.