11 Anti-Materialism Movies

I’m a visual person.  When I am in a phase of transitioning, I always find that a bit of company in the form of a film/video aides me in maintaining momentum.  Here are a few films that have deepened my commitment to minimalism.


Thrive With Less (2013)

Unique in that it was made by a group of college students.  I’m always pleased to see young people interested in something other than electronics and themselves, so watching was a pleasant experience.  You can watch the entire, one hour, documentary on their website and they also offer bonus videos on their youtube channel.

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(Screenshot from Thrive With Less – 2013)

We the Tiny House People (2012)

Kirsten Dirksen is an interesting lady.  She travels around video documenting tiny homes and the people whom dwell in them.  Her youtube channel is an easy place to indulge in house-porn and to lose an afternoon.

tiny house in the forest
(Photo courtesy of Pinterest.com)

Tiny: A Story About Living Small (2013)

A man builds a mobile tiny house with no prior building experience.  The story is intercut by interviews with leaders of the Tiny-House movement including Jay Shafer of Tumblewood Tiny House Company, Kent Griswold of Tiny House Blog, The Berzins Family, Derek “Deek” Diedricksen of RelaxShacks.comand Dee Williams with her 84 square foot home.  Available on Netflix and youtube.

(Photo courtesy of Pinterest)

Surfwise (2007)

Since I first learned of Doc Paskowitz in 2005, I’ve been intensely inspired by him.  Between road trips I often quench my thirst for the open road by watching Surfwise.  This amazing adventure is available on Netflix.


The Joneses (2009)

The_Joneses
(Photo courtesy of filmreviewonline.com)

The Joneses stars Demi Moore and David Duchovny, two actors I typically avoid, but this film was decent.  Are they a family or a marketing team?  This film is available on Netflix and offers social commentary on American consumerism.


The Bling Ring (2013)

Possibly my favorite movie on the list.  Not only because Sofia Coppola is a brilliant filmmaker but because it is all so shocking, and yet, not.

Based on a true story of a group of teens who robbed the homes of the celebrities they worshiped.  Not since Michael Scott has there been such a cringe-fest.  The kids and the empty superficial culture they live in are as repulsive as their behavior but nothing tops the parenting.  Ouch!  That is some jaw dropping parenting — Adderall breakfast and homeschooling ‘The Secret’.

After two back-to-back viewings, I was certain that some major exaggerating was occurring.  Nope.  Two of the girls had their own reality show at one point called Pretty Wild, also available on Netflix.  Turns out they are grosser than the movie portrayed them to be.

My favorite line of the film?  “I want to lead a country someday for all I know”.  Awesome!


The Brass Teapot (2012)

A surprisingly good dark comedy about a young married couple who become obsessed with materialism.

the-brass-teapot-exclusive-clip
(Photo courtesy of Pinterest)

Not Business As Usual (2012)

A thought-provoking documentary that looks at the exploitation within the capitalist system that occurs out of the consumer’s sight.  The film is uplifting as it focuses on the rise of conscious capitalism as a reaction to an ever growing consumer voice demanding ethics.  Watch the whole thing for free on youtube.


No Impact Man (2006)

A documentary, available on Netflix, that chronicles a family of three exploring a lifestyle that creates no negative impact on the environment.  Visit their website for info on the book, movie or read their blog.

no-impact-man-tix
(Photo courtesy of declineoftheempire.com)

Everything Must Go (2010)

A story of a man and his stuff.


Fight Club (1999)

Who could forget this iconic scene in Edward Norton’s apartment?


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4 thoughts

  1. Great list but how did “Into the Wild” not make the list. That’s one of the most anti-materialist films ever

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    1. I love love love your screen name! Octobersky…awesome! Admittedly, I wasn’t taken with ‘Into the Wild’. I found it odd that he was so unprepared for being in the wilderness and didn’t know how to identify edible plants, which is the sort of thing one should be an expert at prior to venturing out on such an excursion. Also, the scenes where he’s “playing” in the abandoned car came across as him not really wanting to leave society, but just wanting to play at it. I never read the book so it’s possible those were choices made by the filmmaker rather than what actually happened. And of course I have empathy for the real person and his family. Thanks for the suggestion though and for reading. 🙂

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