a low-carb diet
Thanks to an email alert from the local Finnish community, last night my husband and I enjoyed an interesting creative documentary film on CBC Newsworld's Passionate Eye :
What happens when a determined young family gives up all oil-based products for a year?
Filmmaker John Webster and his family decided to own up to their transgressions and kick their addiction to oil. They committed to a one-year "oil detox". It's quite simple really: the family will go on with their suburban lives, but without using any fossil fuels, driving cars or flying in airplanes. They won't buy anything packaged in plastic like food, makeup, shampoo, toothpaste or kids' toys. This last item proves a particular challenge to Webster's two young sons.
Recipes for Disaster shows that at the core of the impending climate catastrophe are those little failures that we as individuals make every day, and which are so much a part of human nature. And a lot of it has to do with oil consumption.
This charming and intimate "family drama" reveals the overwhelming challenge the Webster's have taken on. But despite the initial shocks, by using logic, sound judgement and common sense, this family does what it takes to combat the existing recipes for disaster that we all blindly follow.
We were surprised and delighted to hear Finnish, spoken mostly by the wife (with English captioning) and to see familiar Finnish landscapes. The film is often quite funny, such as the image of a man's huge belly with the declaration that it was time to go on a low-carb (carbon not carbohydrate) diet! In one almost tragicomic scene, Webster on leaving the oil-guzzling motor behind, rows his family on their boat for many hours to their summer cottage and is frequently asked by passing boaters if he needed help. The film brought the issues of climate change into the personal realm without the heavy-handedness of some other climate change films.
Check the film's website as to when and where the film is being shown again and if you have the opportunity, do watch it!
P.S. I was also reminded of the even-broader efforts of the No Impact Man.
Oh, and check out the many comments at CBC !
UPDATE: Feb.20, 2008. Some of you may be interested that the CBC Documentaries Moderator has offered this information:
We're sorry but we don't have the necessary rights in order to offer Recipes for Disaster online or on YouTube.
We're told that a DVD will be available soon. Please contact the distributor in Germany at:
We do hope the repeat the film during our repeat season in later spring/summer. Please check www.cbc.ca/docs for updated schedule information!