As far as architecture made of garbage goes, I’ve always tried to keep an open mind. It is very difficult, for me, to not type-cast this type of building as, “Hippy Crap”. There is something to be said about a beautiful design that uses beautiful materials, just like a beautiful design that uses garbage. This film is a rather good architectural documentary in the sense that it challenges you to adjust your perspective, though there isn’t very much in the way of concrete architectural ideas.
Mike Reynolds is the hero of the film, and is portrayed as such. The majority of the film’s focus is placed on his battle with New Mexico state laws that prevent his sort of experimental habitats from being realized. However, the film doesn’t necessarily discuss sustainability as much as it does fighting laws and standing up for whats right.
I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as an architectural film as much as I would call it a cultural critique. It doesn’t have much in the way the buildings are constructed, or specific construction practices and building orientations. I think the portion of the film I enjoyed most was simply watching the camera glide through and around these homes. Seeing images of buildings is nice, but seeing videos of a home office made of colored glass bottles is a completely different experience.
Verdict: See the trailer.
The trailer will give you a good idea of what the film is like. Just keep in mind you won’t necessarily learn about sustainability.