i don’t read a ton of non-fiction, am known to skim or skip the “insight” section, but i love documentaries. luckily for my brain, toronto is home to one of the world’s only documentary cinemas (the bloor hot docs cinema) and one of the world’s best film festivals (and i’m not talking about tiff).
my brother bought pierre and i a totally awesome joint birthday gift last year: a 10-pack for hot docs. once the line-up was released in march, we looked through all the films alphabetically, noting which ones we might like to use a precious ticket on. when we came to “t” and tiny: a story about living small, i wrote the dates and times down for obvious reasons!
in fact, i used up four tickets on the film, inviting my brother and friends to join me. the screening we went to was on the final day of the festival at the revue on roncesvalles. i never hang out in that neighbourhood, but what a great spot! i know, i’m late to the party.
i loved the film — easily the best one i saw at this year’s festival and actually one of my favourite docs of all-time, just based on how much i identified with the topic. tiny is a year-in-the-life of 29-year-old nomad chris smith, who plunks his life savings down on a parcel of land in the colorado mountains and then spends another $27,000 to build a 150-ish square foot home on wheels, in which, ironically will be the home he finally stays put.
interviews with other singles, couples, and families who embrace living small are scattered throughout the film and it was really neat to get a tour of their spaces — some pretty ingenious storage solutions at work!
if you’ve been reading this blog since the start, or have ever wandered over to the about page, you’ll know pierre and i didn’t start out with any intention of living small. in fact, our house hunt was spurred by the “need” for more space; our 618 square foot apartment just could not hold all our (wedding) stuff. that we’re where we are, living quite happily and comfortably in 710 square feet, is a happy accident/minor miracle.
if we hadn’t had a year’s worth of hold-ups with plans and permits, i doubt we’d have had time to rethink the amount of space we truly needed and wanted. we’d probably have our 2400 square foot “dream” home by now — along with a huge mortgage, lots more stuff, and less time to do the things we like to do. so even though 2011 was a difficult year of figuring that out, i really do think this is the way we were meant to live and am glad things worked out this way.
after all, if it hadn’t worked out this way, i wouldn’t be featured in apartment therapy’s annual small cool contest, now would i? go vote! it’s a good month to be living small.