A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity

A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity

2016, Environment  -   23 Comments
Ratings: 7.05/10 from 133 users.

A feature-length documentary directed by Jordan Osmond and Samuel Alexander, A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity takes us to Gippsland, Australia, where residents have fully embraced the notion of a simpler existence far from the maddening crowds and stress-inducing cityscapes. Part of a 12-month experiment known as The Simpler Way Project, the inhabitants of this community all share a common commitment to social change and environmental preservation.

What does it mean to live simply? For this diverse group of conscientious citizens, it means that you reconnect to the natural world, conserve your resources, and peel back the extravagances, economic shackles and unsustainable definitions of success in the modern industrialized world. In their tiny homes hand-crafted from largely recycled materials, they seek the purity that comes from a return to the basics.

Many people believe that you don't know what you've got until it's gone, but this community has discovered that the exact opposite is true. Gone are the conveniences and accessories of present-day civilization - electricity, cell phones, and internet access - and in its place is the truest form of a social network. Some have left drudging 40-hour work weeks spent in the service of large and faceless corporations. In their new reality, they find everything they need in the natural world that surrounds them in every direction and through the support they find in their fellow co-inhabitants.

Their cause is grounded in more than just a desire for personal growth and experience. They see the ills of a dying planet and an overly stressed population. From their perspective, the next evolution of the human species will only be made possible by going back to the fundamentals. Green energy, farming and artisan craft making each play a major role in realizing this potential.

A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity follows each step of this fascinating year-long journey, and it’s clear that every challenge faced by this close-knit community has opened a door to revelation. Upon the completion of this project, each of them will take these lessons of simple living back home with them and create a lasting change that reverberates to others.

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Stuart Mills
3 years ago

Do you know legally what a resident is? It's a foreigner who lives permanently in a country, so to call native born people residents is an insult to them, it also means a commercial entity, which means the government can tax them.

4 years ago

Hey, what can we write the in depth philosophy or goal from this video??

Michael Grøndahl
4 years ago

I like people trying to live off the grid and create self sustaining lifestyles. But, listening to these deluded and unadvanced patchouli scented ‘dreamers’ (to be charitable) make me roar with laughter after seeing so many groups, first hand and through documentaries, fail miserably in the past and not consider all the factors involved in living independently. This is pie in the sky living, up there with digitally based wastefulness, and will end in some Jonestown scenario as
They are living with not all the scenarios accounted for and they are so young. Wait until they get older and they wonder how groovy they are living. God, how naive and outdated. Earth ships, solar power? These are subjects to google and sort out how to create a new society. But, I wish you all luck.

4 years ago

Yay socialism. Whether you call it that or asceticism, when civilization finally encroaches upon your paradise and wants to build a condo where you live, not a single pop star or politician is going to step up and bemoan mean old gentrification unless they get your vote. And they will still force you to make concessions that please them

6 years ago

It's worth noting that Africans lived like this a few years back, and some still do. . . .

6 years ago

I'm not sure why they thought they needed to re-invent the wheel. Ever heard of a kibbutz(Israel) or a commune or even the Pilgrims(who nearly starved) or Aboriginals of many countries? One could have studied some or all of them. People who have spent time there admit that it isn't for everyone. In a larger context of more people... some or much of the usa govt is modeled after the Iroquois Nation. Too bad the lawyers, corporations, and bankers were allowed to muck it up.

Me thinks @Russ has a great point about having more distance twixt people to do your own thing your own way. It seems that would make for less discontent and people could still gather together to raise a barn or a house like the Amish, or have a harvest festival or swap meet. I grew up on a small farm. Not every one in the area was fond of each other. No big deal. With not living on top of each other you rarely had to deal with them. Even so most people were civil. The rest were helpful and friendly. I really don't like living in the city. People are annoying. Not so much as lions and tigers and bears, oh my.

Not enough room? You could stuff the entire population of the planet into Texas. If people didn't need to drive to get to work, it would seem far less crowded, funneling so many onto a few roads. Telecommuting should be promoted far more. It would save a LOT of energy and reduce road rage. However, fuel companies which have the funds to buy politicians certainly don't want to promote that.

6 years ago

Couldn't have been better said...or done! The importance & inevitability of change is made very clear...as is the inevitable disagreements that groups will experience in the process of achieving it. For that reason it would be a good idea to also include the option of 'homesteading,' which would then give individuals the freedom to create sustainability on their own land, in their own way...without requiring the (troublesome) input and/or approval of others. Just a thought.

Tayla Joy
6 years ago

"But to live completely with nature, it requires balls. Hard. Steel. Balls. Dirty fingernails and lot of scars. And it's not fun."

If thats how your idea of community is, how you manage to find connection to the land and with other human beings - dude your doing it wrong. Its crazy how egotistical people can be about how they are hardcore for living in harmony with nature like its a competition. "I built my house by candlelight and with a rock I chiseled myself as a hammer - you guys used power tools what eco-hipster-wannabes"

I think most of us can sit comfortably sit behind our computer screens and poke fun but I doubt many have actually under-gone living and existing in a community from scratch and have truly gone through the trials and tribulations and personal journeys that would come from that. I think this is an epic doco and i have mad respect to all of them that have lived that life coexisiting beside what would essentially be strangers on a barren and strange land. It may not have been perfect but what is in this world these days? I think whats important to not miss is the fact that they were out there doing it - learning and growing - living a better life than a majority of this world and thats what this world needs. So big ups to this. I give it 10 stars.

6 years ago

"Eco-Hipster" LOL! I could only handle about 15 minutes of this silliness. This is not a useful
model for anything. Google Helen and Scott Nearing if you really are interested in this topic.

6 years ago

I don't believe I heard them say that EVERYTHING they use is natural. Maybe the toy was from before they moved there? Everyone brought their own stuff. it may not be perfect but it's an difficult and impressive life style change.

Mark Gaboury
6 years ago

Okay, this looked interesting, and the beginning was good. But 25 minutes in, and I can't take anymore of the ignorance. These people don't realize that they're in the first stage of building the very city that they disparage. They don't know that an electric car is less sustainable than a gas powered car. They don't know that the giant windmills rely on conventional back-up. Poor misled folks!

6 years ago

The spirit of the people featured in this film restores my fragile faith in humanity.

Also, the concluding statement made in the film was just beautifully and poetically said.

Great film!

6 years ago

While I can understand the points made by those before me, that is the participants reliance on technology or in other words ‘all the mod cons’, the fundamental truth of this documentary is based on the words and the important message each person is making: i.e. the earth and most (not all) of life that is trying to survive and flourish is being constantly put at dire risk of collapsing under existing and expanding environmental pressures and wasteful consumerism of mankind. I would add that each person sounded sincere and genuine. Ok they do not have all the answers but this documentary is a good discussion point for debate and education. There are pros and cons to what in practice they are trying to achieve but through ‘human’ trail and error we cannot give up on the search for the right and best solutions.

john smith
6 years ago

Fine for you guys to be able to do this in a temperate climate, try this in Europe in the winter!
Also there isn't enough space if everyone wanted to live like this.
But I would be first to jump in if given the chance.

6 years ago

Jigsaw 2500W, they used skidoos in the taiga doc, even the amish use plastic, not many people living 100% pure lives. I live off grid but use second hand power tools, why not? appropriate tech

6 years ago

I love the idea of a simpler life but fear that education gets thrown to the wayside, I could never give up books

6 years ago

Yeah, at 5:13 I see a bag of disposable diapers and a nice plastic toy car. So sustainable. Nice fiberglass insulation as well. Did none of these folks ever watch The Garbage Warrior and look into earthships? Christmas lights in the one place as well. Man, I can keep going on and on but no need to. These folks are getting the idea of being a minimalist mixed up with being sustainable. My god

Jigsaw 2500W
6 years ago

I'm convincing my self that I must live much simpler life in my small industrial suburb. Less stuff, less tools, less time to waste on things. But you know, I don't have half of your power tools you are using just to build your simple eco-sustainable-natural life! An eFFFFing saw table to build a shed in middle of nowhere? Seriously?! No, seriously, you eco-freaks! I can build such shed with my bare teeth and fingernails.
You are building the same industrial environment with the same industrial tools, just choosing different style.
You want to know what it means to live together with nature as one? Watch documentary Happy People: A Year in the Taiga. But I'm more than sure you don't want to live life like that. Because (with all do respect) you are just an eco-hipsters who wants to have some fun in your boring life. But to live completely with nature, it requires balls. Hard. Steel. Balls. Dirty fingernails and lot of scars. And it's not fun. Ask the guy (Leonardo) from movie the Revenant, if you don't believe me.
Cheers, you earned two stars!**