The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

DocEdge: Mr Toilet review

by Rachel Kerr on June 17, 2020 in DocEdge, Film

“Turning poop culture into pop culture is the fastest way to solve the sanitation crisis.”

Having grown up in self-described slums of Singapore before sanitation arrived, Jack Sim has personal experience of its value. After being unsatisfied with his early success in business, he had a rethink, and made it his mission to bring toilets to the world, which he does using a combination of endless poop jokes, glowing good humour, and bureaucratic-speak only if strictly required. ‘It’s not right that two and a half billion people do not have access to proper sanitation when we can send spacecraft to land on Mars,’ he says.

Among other achievements he founded the World Toilet Organisation, and persuaded the UN to unanimously vote for the establishment of World Toilet Day. By his own account, his project is to persuade people they want toilets as a first step. The affection of his co-workers and family is obvious as they banter about him. ‘Happy are those who enjoy their shit jobs,’ he emails to his workers, who amongst other projects, organise ‘urgent runs’ as fund-raisers. ‘Getting people to give a shit,’ heads up a PowerPoint.

It’s an inspiration to watch someone who has created a role doing something so useful, without overshadowing those around him, and while clearly enjoying himself. The film-making is unobtrusive and lively, with some fun animated sections.

Highly recommended.

1hr 29m, Lily Zepeda, United States 2019

2020 DocEdge online screening times:
Sat 20 Jun 3pm (followed by Q&A on DocEdge Facebook)
Mon 29 Jun 11 am

Rachel Kerr

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