A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity (2016) – Free Full Documentary

“A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity” is a free-to-view, feature-length documentary that follows a community in Australia who have come together to explore and demonstrate a simpler way to live in response to global crises. Throughout the year the group build tiny houses, plant veggie gardens, practice simple living and permaculture principles, and discover the challenges of living in community. This documentary, our very first!, was shot while we were living on the property for the entire year as part of the community. The documentary includes interviews with David Holmgren, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Nicole Foss, Ted Trainer, Graham Turner, and more.

Download the documentary at: http://happenfilms.com/store
Book by Samuel Alexander: “Prosperous Descent: Telling New Stories as the Old Book Closes” – https://griffithreview.com/wp-content/uploads/GR52_Alexander_Adcock-Ebook.FINAL_.pdf
For more ideas for action, see: http://www.simplicityinstitute.org

** More about Happen Films **
Support us in making more films: https://happenfilms.com/donate
Website: https://happenfilms.com
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Facebook: https://facebook.com/happenfilms

** Screen our films in your community! **
While our short films are free to view online, you’ll need to purchase a license to hold a public screening. Visit https://happenfilms.com/store for info.

** Film credits **
Directed by: Jordan Osmond and Samuel Alexander
Written by: Samuel Alexander, Jordan Osmond, and Antoinette Wilson
Executive Producers: The Simplicity Institute, Marcus Foth, Dale & Clare Hembrow
Cinematography by: Jordan Osmond
Edited by: Richard Sidey and Aliscia Young
The General Assembly: http://thegeneralassembly.bandcamp.com
The Crash Narrative: https://thecrashnarrative.bandcamp.com/releases
Samuel de Silentio: https://samueldesilentio.bandcamp.com/album/tunes-for-transition

Thanks to all the generous Indiegogo supporters who made this project possible!


  1. Ro Carr on February 8, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    Love the window

  2. MusFuzZ on February 8, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    I want to know how this way of life deals with the advancement of technology.

  3. FREE WILL on February 8, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    Here is a video showing a portion of the waste from the Gross Re-store https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNAAXvReQHo

  4. Tom Zed on February 8, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    australia is not norway!

  5. edwin villeza on February 8, 2021 at 9:23 pm

    Why do you not teach people about canning food for the winter-summer storage prep? It was real during the war and in early times instead of waiting for others to bring to you. Three quarters of Europe’s people died due to wrong crops planted, not enough nourishment during the winter and food shortages. Less is best !!! Utilize some technology to expand life without being dependent. How to engineer: water catchment, energy output, food production, basic clothes or shoe making skills.

    Growing potatoes in between grass or hay doubles the food output. Natural vegetation nature provides abundant that is edible, are thrown away and forgotten. Teach the old Mayan-Aztec ways of sun navigation to read the season’s to plant and prepare; ways of season how nature cycles crop production of foods that provide enough nutrition, self reliance !!!

  6. HoboGardenerBen on February 8, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    Just a little thought that the climate justice parade, it’s very forceful and demanding. Sure seems like yelling at someone else with a megaphone and demanding they fix it all instead of looking for answers and sharing them with everyone in a pleasant sing song. Catch more flies with honey vs vinegar or something like that, especially if we focus on solutions like the people who are out there getting the dirt time, growing food, making shelter, all that, much respect. My enthusiasm for gardening began with the flavor of peas from the garden vs frozen from the bag as a child. Then, as an adult the flavor difference of tomatoes picked fully ripe at the beyond-organic farm I was interning at vs the ones from the store blew my mind. The abundance and diversity of the seed bank out there is truly beautiful, lovely time to be alive, watching all this lovely change while a lot of scary stuff is also happening. Rapid change is hard, even if it ends up good in the long run. I think that the stronger the pressure of events, the stronger the response will be from the species and that might unify us in the process. Or we’ll fragment and collapse, it’s a time of massive rapid change, anything is possible right now.

  7. Daniel Kennedy on February 8, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    Is this lifestyle scalable? What percentage of the global population could the planet support with this lifestyle? As for capitalism – the problem isn’t the producer/seller. The problem is the buyer buying all kinds of stuff they don’t need. Perhaps it’s time to educate buyers. Capitalism incentivizes problem solving and production. It also decentralizes wealth and therefore power. Socialism/Marxism incentivizes accumulation and centralization of power.

  8. Fribelene Soliven on February 8, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    To live in a community of simplicity to is more self fulfilling and self reliant, living in harmony and helping each other gives us more happiness

  9. janet dutton on February 8, 2021 at 9:27 pm

    So, where are they today in Febuary 2021?

  10. Aleksandra Bogic on February 8, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    Great Idea and wonderfull done. Nice to see this.

  11. Savior Flair on February 8, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    At ~{ 21:25 }~ He has a striking resemblance to Jeff Dunham’s, "The Dead Terrorist" !!

  12. WiZard on February 8, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    Who is watching this on 1/1/21 and is SERIOUSLY looking for a way out of this trash fire called “Modern Life”?

  13. Bison American Club on February 8, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    At the end of video : technology and markets will not save us and , if wait for government to lead you are in a bad way ..grow food don’t go back to work,,. Start

  14. T E on February 8, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    Anyone know of any place in the US that are currently doing this or are interested in doing this?
    Currently in Oregon but going South would be of interest as well.
    Permaculture and Cob building are of interest to me. Off grid or semi off grid as well.
    Nearish to a town with hospital, markets etc…for those just in case moments that arise… would be beneficial.

  15. Kool Keith on February 8, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    How can I get involved with this lifestyle in America? Prudent stuff here.

  16. Jamie Williams on February 8, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    Overpopulation is THE main problem we face.

  17. civilizedPete P on February 8, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    I wish in Quebec, we could find more people like this.
    here we need help
    (force pandemic period)

  18. Sadhita Yoga on February 8, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    great, been trying to live like this as a buddhist, community life etc. for year. You need ideals, and alot of patients to build community. But good to see others having that experience.

  19. Brown fatties burn fat fastest anyway you see it on February 8, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    Covid it Up

  20. Vintage Living on February 8, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    We cannot have the government lead the way for us – absolutely meaningful and I am from Malaysia don’t expect such a support, forest are taken down by the large timber companies.

  21. chalooter on February 8, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    Ropehead chick "it’s about 95% recycled building materials" right after I watch them lining the interior walls and ceiling with brand new sheets of 3/4 inch plywood.

  22. Jennifer on February 8, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    2021 Glad you were "on it". I’m scrambling now to go off grid, grow my own food & get away from the kill-grids

  23. Niru Kadel on February 8, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    Eye opening,very nice

  24. Falcon Britt on February 8, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    Sustain soil quality, sustain perennial fruit-producing trees, sustain earth by using earth friendly building materials rather than toxic ones and those which don’t break down and become usable by the natural system again.

    Fresh food has life force energy. Most of what’s at grocery stores has been at storage places and taken weeks to arrive. It can also be picked early so be under-ripe and less nutritious. Burning fossil fuels to drag it thousands of miles isn’t good for the earth either.

    You can support local organic and natural farmers even if you can’t go do a sustainable community. We have farm shares (CSA’s) we can buy from dozens of local farmers around Taos – we pay them a few hundred bucks for the season and they provide a weekly big bag of very fresh, organic veggies for as long as the growing season continues. We just pick it up at the farmer’s market each Saturday. Best food I’ve eaten, in large amounts, and the money goes directly to the farmers (no middle man).

    Also, we can grow vertically and produce massive amounts of food on very little land. Then we can sell the vegetables locally to help sustain the community.

  25. Brigitte Schäuble on February 8, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    Der „Normalbürger“ lernt verzichten und geht bescheiden zurück aufs Land. Die“Großen und Teichen“, dieaus Big Tec und Finance, haben noch mehr Anwesen und jetten im Privatjet, verbrauchen Ressourcen wie eine ganze Stadt, bauen G5 aus, machen ihre eigenenGesetze und brechen die bestehenden nach Belieben und und und
    Mir ist die Hoffnung und die Kraft ausgegangen. Toleranz? Gott im Himmel wozu und mit wem? Wo ist die Macht, die die Verursacher in die Schranken weist und deren unfassbaren gestohlenen und zusammengerafften Besitz wieder der Allgemeinheit zu geben?

  26. ladali krapels on February 8, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    wow the voice of the guy in the end. does anyone know if hes on spotify?

  27. Danny Hughes on February 8, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    The World needs more people such as these.

  28. NicholsZiegler on February 8, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    The problems is that the urban dweller lost connection with reality. Food is brought into supermarket, the garbage is collected and sent away. You don’t know how the food is produced, and what they do with you garbage. You hope that they don’t use garbage to obtain food 🙂

  29. Cas Perry on February 8, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    As someone who grew up poor, my family had a large garden where we grew our food and in summers we would gather herbs and wild berries in nature. Wild apple, pear and cherry trees gave us plenty of treats. I’m 35 and that wasn’t a long time ago. I’m sure many people would find a life like that not very pleasant and stressful because in a modern society that is a life of a poor person and most people would want to escape it. I know I did too. I remember those simpler times with fondness but I’m aware that I’m blinded by the innocence of my childhood and not all was that great, especially for my mother who still had to provide conventional things for me. Funny how people want to go back to that now. What I’m telling you is that romanticising a primitive lifestyle is perhaps the wrong way to approach this subject. The simplicity first and foremost should start in your head – it should be your life’s philosophy that guides you and you can practice it anywhere while working a normal job. For me it’s not falling into the trap of consumerism and acquiring more money to sustain an inflated lifestyle that consists of distractions, surrogate activities and boosting your social standing. Live below your means because the money you don’t spend buys you something too – peace of mind and security. I live like a pauper and although I have more money than ever right now, I try not to desire anything because I know that this particular thirst cannot be satisfied for humans. The present moment is all we have and it’s already perfect. Be curious about the world and have hobbies that involve outdoors, of course nature is important – we and nature are inseparable. If you can stay away from all the usual traps of the modern society, you’ll be more stress free than 95% of people out there.

  30. chalooter on February 8, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    Who else wants to slap that bird faced scarecrow twit with the blue shirt? 14:11

  31. C W92 on February 8, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    reminds me of my grandpa =’) thank you for making this video.

  32. chalooter on February 8, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    Now show us where they are 5 years later. I see an awful lot of power tools being used in the shed to kitchen conversion. Wait, what’s this, an electrical outlet? 38:14 Using dirty fossil fuel generated electricity? Oh, the humanity! Btw there are no fossils in fossil fuel.

  33. Dave Rook on February 8, 2021 at 10:00 pm


  34. Marie Cook on February 8, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    Tku! like minds, kindred spirits find each other. Super charged to find motivation to keep moving in the direction of my heart and to share this with others.

  35. Stefania Mirri on February 8, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    I wonder if these few years later, this can still be the best response to Covid19 crisis, both on living style and work..
    I would really know what results from they found out after further Years and see if this could match the new emerging changes that the Covid is pushing toward us…

  36. Christine Lamb on February 8, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    I’d be interested in finding out if this community is still going, now 4 years later.

  37. Tchelaum Viaja on February 8, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    Great Peace! congratulations for making it happen and sourcing it all the way, both the art piece of document and the art piece of the place itself!

  38. Phoenix Skeptic on February 8, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    4 years later, what’s going on?

  39. Phoenix Skeptic on February 8, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    Has these modern day hippies done any research at all? Communism has never worked without killing 100,000 people. Where do you get all the tractors, gasoline, solar panels, PVC pipes etc?

  40. Nancy In the garden on February 8, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    I’m so proud of all of you that have observed and acknowledged your needs as well as the world’s to give back to the planet while we still are able. We can’t keep taking without giving back. Hope you all accomplish your dreams into reality. Thank you for trying

  41. Toby Holm on February 8, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    I want to live like this sooo bad. I was taking care of my mom the last ten years but this has always been my dream now if only i could get my spouse to want this…… lol

  42. Chucky cheese on February 8, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    We are wobbling the planet with our countertops are high-rises where they’re not supposed to be that’s all it is you take weight from one side of the world and put it in another it’s a problem you have to distribute the weight put bubble gum on a basketball

  43. George Meng on February 8, 2021 at 10:11 pm
  44. Tim Taylor on February 8, 2021 at 10:11 pm

    And it’s only gotten worse in 4 years.

  45. Emma Louie on February 8, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    Rich people move the to the countryside. Poor people slave away in violent cities. What’s inspiring about this….

  46. The Citizen Farmer on February 8, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    "Getting, Spending we lay waste our powers" please tell me if you find the band playing this song near the end. Thank you!

  47. Todd Sloan on February 8, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    This is 2:25 humanity nearly sidestepped.

  48. Frederick Malouf on February 8, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    No empowered political or social change will happen until economic reforms are made, and that won’t happen until we leave usury commodity currencies behind and move to qualitative exchange mechanisms with no cost that incentives status to create sustainably. This means a no-cost, non-commodity exchange model that doesn’t need fractional reserve lending or usury to run it.

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