Recently I watched an interesting Finnish documentary called My Stuff. 26 year old Petri Luukkainen is single and lives in Helsinki. He's been dissatisfied with his life for a while.
My stuff has begun to define who I am.
My flat is all full now, yet I'm empty inside.So he sets up a rather intriguing experiment. Petri puts literally all of his stuff in a self storage unit and allows himself to get one item a day.
I'm rebelling against my stuff.In what seems a rather Scandinavian approach he starts off naked in his apartment, which is now completely empty, and he has to do a nude run through a Helsinki winter night to get a single coat.
I need room to think why I'm not happy.
Initially Petri's quality of life goes through the roof each and every day with each retrieved item. But very quickly Petri isn't getting something every day from the storage unit.
7 things is plenty. I won't take anything.
He didn't go to the storage for 10 days! But then makes a big grab including his bike. Petri has a lovely relationship with his grandmother who he goes to for advice. She is quite old, old enough to be considering her mortality, and that the things that will inevitably be all left behind. She's sweet, and gently supportive.
|The advantages of living in a climate |
that provides an external fridge
Rather astonishingly it is 51 days before he picks up his laptop, but he still doesn't have a phone, and his friends start to push back about how he can't organise social outings without a phone. One of the most surprising, and yet obvious things for me when Petri was thinking about his possessions:
A table needs a chair.
That's rather philosophical really and taking things back to basics. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that Petri comes to realise that "Your life is not made of your things". He does eventually pick up his phone, and in the end decides that he can manage with 100 things, but needs another 100 things for comfort and joy.
My Stuff is available at SBS On Demand. (I can't be sure whether this link will work outside Australia)