The Individualist Trailer (2010)
Trailer for the documentary The Individualist.
In 1973 a tinkerer and musician named Ridgway Banks invented the world's first solid-state heat engine in a laboratory workshop in Berkeley, California. Sudden fame pushed him into the spotlight of journalists and royalty before disappearing as quickly as it came. For 36 years, he has been quietly creating alternative energy machines based on a shape-changing wire named nitinol, without attention or funding from the scientific or energy industries. Through an intimate portrait, we see inside the mind of a genius who has spent his life pursuing a passion that could solve the clean energy crisis... if the world pays attention. What first-time director Zoe Banks discovers when documenting her father's work is that the answer to life is enigmatically simple, and that the line between fame and obscurity is sometimes wire-thin.