Thursday, January 26, 2017

Now on Netflix: A Small Good Thing (2015)

A Small Good Thing (2015) - Directed by Pamela Tanner Boll

By Kenny Howell

What makes a rewarding life is the question at the center of A Small Good Thing, the new documentary that just arrived on Netflix.

To find this out, it follows several people over about a year to see how the changes they have made in their lives to find a more rewarding life have worked out and continue to do so.

One is a husband and wife who dropped their previous professional lives to become farmers and provide for their family as well as their community with food. Another is an Iraqi vet who uses meditation and exercise to battle some addictions he developed from dealing with the after effects of combat. The last is a community organizer who works with disadvantaged children.

This could work as a companion piece with another documentary I reviewed recently on Netflix called Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. Both dealt with how we have grown into a materialistic, consumerist society over the past half century or so, and how to deal with it. A Small Good Thing is probably a little more successful in the sense that it is small, and The Minimalists, the two authors and podcasters that Minimalism is about, seem to try to hijack that film and self promote way too often.

A Small Good Thing could have probably benefited from a bit more focus, it's message seems a bit scattered at times, but I think it is interesting to get to know just a few, normal everyday people just trying to do what we will need to do, find a way to be happy while we are here.

A Small Good Thing is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: **1/2

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