Without giving anything away about the most dramatic arc of the documentary “Suzy and the Simple Man,” here’s some insight into the Simple Man. Jon and Suzy Muir are a loving husband and wife team. Suzy, the more complicated one, faces a crossroads. Jon supports whichever path she takes. She checks his silence, then asks for his perspective. Jon says, “I just have no idea.”
This substantive, environmental film sidesteps issue-y tone portraying a committed couple in sync with each other about their intentionally low carbon-footprint lifestyle. They decided to be organic farmers in Southeastern Australia – off the grid. It’s just the two of them with help-when-each-other-needs-it kind of neighbors.
They grow fruits and vegetables. They grow chickens and sheep and goats. They compost. They do something about too many earwigs. They save a sick sheep. They kill a sheep because that’s how you do, if you’re going to be a meat eater.
They eye nearby kangaroos … and sunsets … and a wildfire that’s closer than they’d like. They fix the pump, assemble a solar panel, power a honey centrifuge by pedaling a bicycle. They win a ribbon at the fleece and flower show.
Suzy and Jon aren’t plain rural folks. They haven’t left behind their history of adventurous treks together: backpacking, kayaking, climbing. Jon goes away sometimes, leading floating treks to put some money in their lifestyle. Suzy lends her caring and knowledge to the local school.
You’ll like spending time with “Suzy and the Simple Man.”