The Minimalists: Less is Now

By Dan Clendenin

The Minimalists: Less is Now (2021)

This 53-minute documentary isn’t a great film, but it explores an important cultural phenomenon that Jesus himself mentions in Luke 12:15: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” No one in the affluent West is immune from the relentless powers of consumerism; think of one-click shopping, the endless stream of pop-up ads on all our screens, same-day delivery, and the $16,000 average credit card debt for each household. It’s no wonder that our closets are so crammed and our basements are so bulging with “stuff” that we rent storage lockers for the overflow. I had not heard of the childhood friends Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus until I watched this movie. They are widely known as “the minimalists,” complete with a wiki article about them that explains their website, podcasts, books, and now this Netflix movie. The magazine GQ says they have a following of 20 million people. In this film, they take turns explaining their mantras of a minimalist lifestyle. They pose at least one trenchant way to think about the subject. “It all starts with the question,” says Millburn, “of how might your life be better with less stuff.” The subtitle of the movie refers to the Twitter hashtag #lessisnow. For similar films, see my JwJ reviews of the movies Small is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary (2015), No Impact Man (2009), Happy (2011), and then Minimalism: A Documentary About the Importance of Things (2016). I watched this film on Netflix streaming.

Dan Clendenin: dan@journeywithjesus.net

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