Garbage Warrior


Garbage Warrior (2007)



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Movie Info

Michael Reynolds is hardly the first architect to bring an environmental consciousness to his work, but few have followed the same path he has. Reynolds designs dwellings that are built from cast-off materials -- one of his buildings was primarily constructed from old beer cans, and he's created other homes from used tires, empty water bottles, and other materials that had been thrown away. Just as importantly, Reynolds' projects are homes that are self-sustaining and either significantly reduce or eliminate dependence on outside power, water, and sewage sources. However, not all of Reynolds' ideas have been welcomed by American housing authorities, who insist some of his ideas violate existing laws regarding water and sewage use, and he has been fighting an uphill battle in his home state of New Mexico to keep building his "Earthships," which have become popular with green activists. Reynolds hasn't met the same resistance in the Third World, where he's been welcomed to help build inexpensive and sustainable housing in the wake of natural disasters. Garbage Warrior is a documentary by Oliver Hodge which profiles this maverick architect, demonstrates his unique ideas, follows him as he fights with authorities for environmentally responsible housing, and travels the world spreading his message. Garbage Warrior received its American premiere at the 2007 Silverdocs Film Festival, a festival for documentary cinema sponsored in part by the American Film Institute. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Garbage Warrior

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

Garbage Warrior is, in the end, a fitting tribute to a free spirit and a valuable citizen.

Feb 15, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

The green movement is eager for such heroes, but Garbage Warrior falls into the trap of so many documentaries that are more from the heart than the head: It's a timely subject, devoid of the rigour that might make it actually important.

Feb 15, 2008 | Rating: 2/4

Director Oliver Hodge's film Garbage Warrior, which picked up the audience award at the VIFF this past fall, was one of the few films that made me feel not only a sense of hope, but more importantly, of resolve.

Aug 22, 2017 | Full Review…

His ideas attracted others & it became a commercially viable operation to help people build their own self sustaining homes in the area. Reynolds, with wild white hair and two week stubble, is energetic & obsessive, but that's what makes him a good story

Aug 7, 2008 | Full Review…

A brilliantly constructed film about a larger-than-life, passionate visionary who shows that simple change isn't just urgent, but blindly obvious and well within reach. All we have to do is take a second-hand look at what we're dumping out our back doors.

May 8, 2008

Garbage Warrior was filmed over three years in the U.S., India and Mexico, and it's a terrific introduction not only to Reynolds' work, but to the extraordinary political and economic hurdles facing anyone who hopes to make positive change.

Feb 15, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/5

Audience Reviews for Garbage Warrior

Absolutely fascinating and a must see for government regulators who wonder how legislation impedes thinking outside the box once in awhile.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

This documentary starts slowly, but I really warmed to the Garbage Warrior. And the buildings are sooo beautiful.

Lesley N
Lesley N

Super Reviewer


Interesting doc on a architect who designs all green housing.

Wu Chouin
Wu Chouin

Super Reviewer

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