Movies That Matter — One Big Home

Event details

  • April 18, 2017
  • 4:30 PM - 7:00 PM
  • 10341 Water Street Highway 42 Ephraim, WI 54211


The first Door County screening of the documentary ONE BIG HOME will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Ephraim on Tuesday, April 18 at 4:30 pm.  Additional screenings are being planned throughout the county in the upcoming months.

On the tiny Island of Martha’s Vineyard giant “trophy homes” are threatening the island’s unique character. And for carpenter Thomas Bena, it bothered him a lot that he was helping to build them. So Bena traded his tool belt for a camera in an attempt to understand the motivation behind these oversized homes.

“I decided I had to dig deeper than anger to have any meaningful effect on my local community,” Bena says. “If a community doesn’t take an active role in deciding its own destiny then the market will decide for them.” So Bena helped lead a local effort in the town of Chilmark to pass a bylaw limiting house size. “I didn’t know how to change local regulation,” Bena says. “So I filmed the process of someone with no experience (me) trying to do so.”

The Door County screenings are being sponsored by local architect Rick Toyne, who hopes that the questions raised by the film will promote thoughtful discussions on what local towns and villages might do to encourage more responsible development practices.

“The parallels between Martha’s Vineyard and Door County are clear,” Toyne says. “A property owner’s right to develop their property should not negate their responsibility to their neighbors, the larger community, or the environment. The negative effects of excessive development do not stop at the property line. If we want to preserve the unique sense of place that we are fortunate enough to live in, then we need to ask ourselves some difficult questions. The first might be: ‘What would this place be like if everyone did what I am doing?'”

The screening is free and open to the public. The UU Fellowship is located at 10341 Hwy. 42 in north Ephraim. For further information on April 18’s event call the Fellowship (920) 854-7559.

For information on other planned screenings of the film in Door County please contact A trailer for the film can be viewed at