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Garbage Warrior

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Mongrel Media
  • Release Date: April 8 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013F60IW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #44,725 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

What do beer cans, car tires and water bottles have in common? Not much unless you're renegade architect Michael Reynolds, in which case they are tools of choice for producing thermal mass and energy-independent housing. For 30 years New Mexico-based Reynolds and his green disciples have devoted their time to advancing the art of "earthship biotecture" by building self-sufficient, off-the-grid communities where design and function converge in eco-harmony. Shot over three years and in four different countries, Garbage Warrior is a timely portrait of a determined visionary, a hero of the 21st century.


"Inspiring!" -- NOW Magazine

"Riveting! Alternately profane, ridiculous and brave" -- VAncouver International Film Festival

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Derek Satnik on July 28 2010
Format: DVD
Perhaps a bit crass, but what do you expect from a hippie? This guy is a genius. His construction techniques are inspiring, accessible, and golly, I think I could do this myself! After watching this film, I feel very positive that housing can be made sustainable.
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By Jean Madore TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 18 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Please, do yourself a favor and watch this video. If we want to change this world for a better place to live, this video is the start. The architech Michael Reynolds shares his vision of a better way to build self-sufficient, off-the-grid housing and it works people!! It does! Also, see how he managed to rebuilt houses destroyed by a hurricane using nothing but the material found on site.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. R. Lisle on Nov. 3 2008
Format: DVD
Here is a film that again shows the obstacles that our governments place in our way. You wonder how much input big business has in the whole housing market. Do the local authorities really believe they are doing the best for us, or are they ensuring their own positions.
You can see the shallowness of the regulatory process when all of a sudden the focus of this movie becomes accepted outside the USA for his work in underprivileged countries. Then all of a sudden he is back in favor. WOW
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By Gary Fuhrman TOP 50 REVIEWER on April 20 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
That would have been a better title, in my opinion, for this fascinating look at radical green architect Michael Reynolds, creator of the "Earthship". The film demonstrates that it's perfectly possible to build sustainable and energy-efficient dwellings without investing a lot of money in them. It also shows how much time, energy, inspiration and perspiration Reynolds had to invest in order to prove that it could be done with available materials. Quite a lot of the film documents his ongoing struggle in the state legislature against bureaucratic red tape and opposition from the establishment. But the film is a real celebration of what can be accomplished by thinking outside the box and working outside the System.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 27 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Powerful story of vision & persistance! Aug. 4 2008
By Narz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
As someone who's been interested in & involved with the sustainability movement for a long time now Mike Reynolds (the "hero" of this documentary) is the type of individual I wish I could have crossed paths with, worked with & learned from in person! This film documents his evolutionary journey from his first buildings in the New Mexico desert to his entrance into the legal arena facing an uphill battle to pass a bill that would allow architects the freedom to experiment with building designs in a controlled environment, to make mistakes & learn from them. Michael presents a compelling case, both to stodgy legislators as well as the audience that this is not only a good idea but absolutely necessary. The essence of his message is that we must redesign society (not just the building codes) to be able to adapt forcefully & gracefully to rapid change. It's a story about unexpected obstacles and the power of an adaptable & persistent spirit in overcoming them. The film takes us to India's Andaman Islands where Mr. Reynolds uses his unconventional building technique to rebuild a community devastated by tsunami and demonstrates how swift positive change can be when not hampered by ideological resistance and red tape. The pacing & flow of the movie are perfect, the musical score is great as well, complimentary to the action & powerful without being overwhelming (or overdramatic). It is even humorous at times like the "romantic" tune playing while Mike's newfound ally (a converted knight for his cause from within the system) works her way through a sea of resistant & skeptical senators to help try to get his bill passed.

Garbage Warrior will not give you the latest cutting edge information about sustainable design (though it certainly is a great primer), nor is it a full biography of Mr. Reynolds (though it covers the period of his life relevant to the film superbly) or of the ins, outs & tangents of the Earthship movement. What it did do, for me, is whet my appetite for more & reminded me why I am interested in this type of thing to begin with. This movie is pure inspiration, what you do with it & where you take it is up to you!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
inspiring and motivating movie Jan. 22 2010
By Jason A. Gagnon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Let me start with the reason for the missing star- there's alot of cursing in this movie. It makes sense coming out of the mouths it comes out of, but it does limit the audience for this incredible documentary. Earthships are cool, but if you have a twelve year old in your life that is interested in environmentalism, art, architecture and whatnot, this movie may just have a few too many f-bombs to show it to them.

Other than that, this is one heck of a great documentary!

You can't watch this movie without becoming immediately obsessed with Earthships. My wife and weren't even half way through this film when we had to start pausing it to discuss ways we might one day incorporate some of the ideas presented in this film into our own property.

The struggle against the local planning board will appeal to your inner libertarian.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
AWESOME! April 10 2009
By Christopher Dowell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a visionary! Such courage & devotion to throw himself into designing & constructing incredible houses that just captivate you in awe! These homes are out of tires, bottles, cans, & glass & solar/wind power! The movie about this architect is so inspirational & motivating & it opens your eyes to bigger picture of corruption between politicians & certain organizations like the architectural society he was once part of & how much bs influence they have over politicians & the way we live! The 1 guy in the film that filibustered it was the same jackass that looked up at the camera earlier when the Garbage Warrior was making his rounds through the offices & meeting rooms of the State Assembly Building! When I saw him on the Senate floor calling the roster - I pointed him out to my friends who were also watching & belted out "That's your enemy right there! That a#%hole! Look what he's doing! He's filibustering the whole damned thing on purpose!"
In the end though, the Garbage Warrior won of course! Yaaaaaayyyyy!!!!
You must see this film!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
One Man Fighting The Man March 1 2009
By Daniel G. Lebryk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The story of a man fighting to build alternative and sustainable housing in New Mexico for 30 years. Yes it's essentially a person fighting "The Man." The film has little to do with how to build sustainable housing, it is all about how to fight the system to get what you believe is right.

There's a little hint in movies to figure out when a director doesn't have much of a story or he didn't film enough serious material, it's a lot of no real purpose shots with music or narration. This film starts off with a good solid 5 or 10 minutes of fluff filler "setting the stage" type footage and narration. A long series of Michael Reynolds driving around and talking.

The theme gets repeated several times throughout the film, only one or two days of filming at the New Mexico capital building made to look like weeks by showing Michael walking here or there. The India trip, lots of on boat scenes and almost nothing of building homes in India.

At one hour and thirty minutes, the film is about 30 minutes too long. There's barely a one hour story in here. The footage touring his house, watching beer can bricks and tire walls made, views of the other houses, the work in India, etc. were all fantastic. This man has an incredible concept, make houses that are not connected to anything - water, electricity, gas, and sewers. At one point, Michael says, "a family of four could live here and never have to leave, not for food, water, or electricity."

The warrior part is Michael's fight against his county to build sustainable houses that do not meet building code. The entire story culminates with about 7 minutes to do, and then is wrapped up with one 10 second title screen. What a let down.

This is Oliver Hodge's first film as director, and it shows. He was a model builder for a number of popular movies, most notably Star Wars Episode 1. Sadly, that is where his talent lies. It's not with feature length film directing.

The sound editor / recorder did a real disservice to this film. What is apparent visually, gets mauled or beaten to death with music or sound effects. Every time the beating of dirt into a tire is shown, the sound man added a sort of explosion. Really bad bad bad sound. Shame on people for doing things that horribly obvious.

This is an R rated film, not because of subject matter, violence, or nudity; it's the dag gone language. F bombs litter this film for no real reason. Yeah, maybe they talk that way, but just not in a film. This would have been G rated if not for all those stupid bombs.

This is a documentary, so some poor camera work is supposed to be excused. In fact that's a rule that should be forgotten, unless it is really live footage, lighting, composition, focus, and camera movements should all be perfect. There is almost no real live footage in this film. And there is no excuse for the number of poorly produced images in this film.

With all the bad that's been described, it would seem like this should be a no star film. The raising up to three is because of the topic and the shreds of useful information and challenge that is shown. Otherwise, it's not so good.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Architecture by Architect Sept. 8 2009
By Neil Sofia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I have been a licensed in California for 21 years and in the industry for 32 years. My practice is a small two man firm that specializes in residential projects. My wife recommended to me to watch this program on the Sundance Channel. I was so blown away that I had to have the DVD. Mike Reynolds is the type of Architect I would have loved to work for in my youth but never met. Knowing what it takes to due conventional residential architecture in the Bay Area, I was astounded to see his creations and his herculean journey through the Planning, Building and State Departments. In my book he is a heroic force in the future of self sufficient home design and truely one of the most inspiriational visionaries I have been exposed to since Frank Lloyd Wright. In my own particular way I have been studying alternative energy options since 1976 at graduate school and now live in a "conventional" home that has photovoltaic solar for power and light, as well as heat for my home office. I would recommend this articulate documentary to anyone interested in the potential for ultimate off-the-grid life style.

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