Bloor Cinema Release: Life Off Grid
By John Corrado
★★★ (out of 4)
Life Off Grid opens at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema today, tickets and showtimes can be found right here.
Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Life Off Grid looks at different people across Canada who have all found ways to live completely or almost entirely off the grid.
We are introduced to a unique bunch of folks who have built their houses from scratch out of sustainable materials, creating their own power through solar panels, wind turbines and small water generators, and surviving by growing and canning whatever food they can according to the climate around them.
Some of them are doing it for moral or idealistic reasons, while others simply can’t afford or easily access electricity due to their locations. There are differing consensuses reached on creature comforts like television and internet, with some using them as entertainment forms to distract from the solitary lifestyle, and others relying on these modern tools for education and news. The most dedicated ones even compost their own outhouse waste to either be buried or used as soil, like in The Martian.
The cinematography is beautiful throughout, capturing the picturesque landscapes and rustic scenery that provide the veritable backyards to these off the grid homes. This is an interesting and thought provoking look at voluntary simplicity and a different way of life, that doesn’t shy away from some of the harsher realities of actually living off the grid, while providing a lot of intriguing ideas for how to reduce our own carbon footprint and live more with the land, even just on a smaller scale.