Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tiny: A Story About Living Small

What would it be like to live in a space that was 100 square feet or less? For many of us, the thought seems absurd because we are accustomed to the mentality of bigger is better. I don’t think anyone goes to work hoping to just bring home a small paycheque, we all want the big bucks, regardless of it is within our reach or not. We want the biggest house, the biggest car and of course, the biggest possible television. However, there is a growing population of people who are happily embracing what is called “the tiny house movement” and this is where the story begins.

Tiny is an eye-opening documentary directed by Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller. Growing up in a military family, and never being able to settle in one place for very long, Christopher decides to embark on challenge to build a tiny house, from the ground up, in Colorado. With help from his slightly hesitant girlfriend who is unsure whether she wants to give up living her dream in New York City, construction takes place and their trials and tribulations throughout the process are filmed. In-between, there are several interviews with content tiny house homeowners who share their experiences and reasons for living this particular lifestyle.

At first, one may not really understand the motivation behind this type of living situation. It is shocking in a way to see people give up what we deem as stability to go and live like a hippy flower child, but it goes way beyond that. Sure there is a prominent desire to maintain eco-consciousness and so building these houses out of recycled materials is at the forefront, as is the purpose to consume less energy and space. However, as revealed in the film, the switch provides a sense of freedom and tranquility that was never fulfilled before in many people’s lives. The resourcefulness is quite unbelievable but then again, when you are given only a small space, you either start thinking outside the box or you end up buried in your own material possessions.

Everyone values different things in life and what may be a necessity for one, is hardly a priority for another. There’s no shame in it, it’s just how we are and the documentary definitely gives you some unique perspectives that if anything, will just make you think. We’re constantly making choices, some good decisions, and other times, ones we might look back upon and realize that we could have done things better. It’s all about evolving.

This documentary really shines a light on finding our strengths, overcoming our weaknesses and doing something extraordinary that will leave our mark in the world. It’s about creating possibilities that didn’t exist before and so the desire for Christopher and Merete wasn't just about building a house, it was about building a home.