5 Sept 2010


No Impact Man
by Derek Wall - levelground.info

The last film always biases the reception of the next. The last film I watched was that 1990s British classic 'Dirty Weekend' based on the novel by Helen Zahavi. Director Michael Winner, best known for making Charles Bronson a household name in ‘Deathwish’, collides with feminism with disastrous results (but hey I liked it). Sickened by exploitation by sexist men, the protagonist of the film Bella goes on a killing spree in Green Party MP Caroline Lucas's Brighton constituency, cleansing the streets of Brighton Pavilion to make them safe for womankind. If you have had a revenge fantasy about your dentist, you will enjoy ‘Dirty Weekend’ irrespective of gender, but you probably should not watch it. I am not sure that the strong meat of the film version of Helen Zahavi's novel quite put me into the right frame of mind to deal critically with the subtler flavours of Colin Beavan’s ‘No Impact Man’.

The thesis of ‘No Impact Man’ is simple: Colin Beavan, a New York writer who longs to write something engaged and political, decides that his family will spend a year living on zero carbon. They can buy nothing new, and lifts, trains and even buses are banned; the car is the great Satan of course. All food is to be organic and local (well within 250 kms). No TV, recycling of all trash, etc, etc.


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