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Do I Need This? cover image

Do I Need This? 2023

Highly Recommended

Distributed by New Day Films, 350 North Water Street Unit 1-12, Newburgh, NY 12550; 888-367-9154
Produced by Kate E. Schermerhorn
Directed by Kate E. Schermerhorn
Streaming, 62 mins

High School - General Adult
Experimental Film; Family Relations; Psychology

Date Entered: 09/13/2023

Reviewed by Kristen Adams, Science & Engineering Librarian, Miami University Libraries

Do I Need This? is a documentary that on the surface seems to be about consumerism and material possessions, maybe at most tying in some psychological reasons people buy things and keep things. While this is partly what the film is about, it centers the conservation around a family with aging parents, who are shown downsizing their lives, only retaining what matters, and the struggle other family members have with that process. A number of perspectives are included from outside this family, to compare how different people live and their relationship with material possessions, from hoarders to minimalists. Even though there are so many aspects presented, it’s all tied together and doesn't feel jarring or rambling. It’s about an hour long, but it doesn’t feel like it should be much shorter; it might be too long for viewing in the classroom. There is a lot of potential for discussions either in class or reflective essays, because of the multitude of topics it covers. It’s suitable for quite a few subject areas in the social sciences.

Silver TELLY Award, Audience Choice Award, Green Film Festival of San Francisco

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