Review: ‘Garbage Warrior’

"Garbage Warrior" takes a little-guy-against-the-system approach in this docu.

In single-minded pursuit of “a method of living that allows people to take care of themselves” comes larger-than-life rebel architect Michael Reynolds, subject of the hagiographic eco-docu “Garbage Warrior.” Boiled down from some 350 hours of footage shot by film designer Oliver Hodge, pic takes a little-guy-against-the-system approach that’s balanced by Reynold’s scruffy charisma. Social-issue fests will saddle up for this, as will green-leaning cablers and niche vid.

A contrarian visionary, Reynolds has been building off-grid sustainable communities in and around Taos, N.M., for 35 years. He uses beer cans, old tires and plastic bottles, organized around construction methods with phrases like “solar gain” and “thermal mass,” to build the plug-ugly structures he’s dubbed “earthships.” Reynolds is seen doing battle with city and state officials over inflexible zoning and housing laws, before he and his small band of merry men find success with their methods at the scene of the 2005 Andaman Islands tsunami. Tech package is handsome, marred by obvious music cues.

Garbage Warrior



An Open Eye Media U.K. production. (International sales: the Works Intl., London.) Produced by Rachel Wexler. Directed by Oliver Hodge.


Camera (color, HD), Hodge; editor, Phil Reynolds; music; Patrick Wilson; sound, Caz Sessions Hodge. Reviewed on DVD, Karlovy Vary, June 30, 2007. (In Karlovy Vary Film Festival -- competing; HotDocs, SilverDocs, Edinburgh film festivals.) Running time: 86 MIN.


Michael Reynolds.
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