MaM: My Stuff – Tavarataivas

Not obviously featuring marketing, Finnish movie My Stuff (Tavarataivas) is nevertheless worth mentioning in this series. The movie is reminiscent of a reverse-Super Size me in some ways: basically an experiment of how much “stuff” a person actually needs.

Film maker Petri Luukkainen bases the film on his concern that his existence becomes increasingly defined by his possessions (and thus the products he consumes). In this documentary cum self-finding mission he thus embarks on an experiment to find out how much stuff he actually needs. The first step is then to lock all of his belongings away (and yes, he means all of his belongings, and spends the first few minutes naked). For the rest of the film, he sets the simple rule that he can then retrieve one item each day, mulling such fundamental questions as what is more important: A chair or underwear?

In some ways, the movie is, of course, suffering from being this self experiment – and being a quite drastic one at that. However, it makes for some interesting (and sometimes funny) viewing while tackling some interesting and fundamental questions of the consumer society: For example, after how many items does he become disinterested in retrieving more? When he is overjoyed of retrieving an item, how important is the item when compared to the anticipation of the item?

As I said at the beginning, the movie is not strictly speaking marketing related. Nevertheless, it raises some interesting questions about social assumptions of how a person is defined – and how this is connected to materialism and consumption. Thus, I wouldn’t suggest the movie for a straight forward marketing class. But it may well have a place in a class examining materialism and social attitudes to consumption.

Check out some more interesting Movies about Marketing and Consumption on this MUBI list. And please don’t forget to let me know what you think about the movie via the comments below!

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