Annie Leonard became interested in the materials economy when she was attending college in NYC. During the daily six-block treks on 110th street she became fascinated with where the morning's piles of trash ended up as she walked home on the emptied sidewalks in the evenings.
Her interest in material accumulation and disposal has manifested into a new 20 minute web-released animated film, produced with Free Range Media, the folks who brought us The Meatrix.
The Story of Stuff is an engaging and extremely straightforward walk-through of the stages of the materials economy. From “Extraction” through to “Disposal” Leonard's narration is hard-hitting but not riddled with too many facts or technical jargon. The animation visually interprets much of what is spoken by Leonard, and it too is kept to a minimalist, simple presentation.
The end result is a film that is both and activist tool and a pedagogical resource. If you've ever wanted to explain what was wrong with the global economy (or just the economies of North America) and couldn't find the right words, it's time to press play.
The Story of Stuff brings complex economic data, theory and practice onto the screen in understandable, provocative and urgent language with animation that builds the narrative instead of distracting. In the end, the information is not dumbed down, and the message could not be more clear than an unpolluted lake: People made this system, and people can change it.
As the holidays approach for many in North America and elsewhere, it's good to be reminded of a story that needs telling over and over until the malls are empty: The Story of Stuff.
To watch the film and explore the site which is choc-bloc with all kinds of information for alternatives and interventions, visit: StoryofStuff.com.