This is an interesting documentary, directed by Jordan Osmond and Samuel Alexander
The first five minutes or so are an effective portrayal of how today’s growing crisis is a twin track of ecological exhaustion on the ‘outside’ and social decay on the inside. Human culture and paths to personal fulfillment are being shredded by the same forces that are ripping apart the Earth’s life-support systems.
The bulk of the film is about a project in ‘simpler living’. It is a bit slow and perhaps there are too many ‘talking heads’ but it successfully that lifestyles that consume far less can be socially and personally richer.
My main reservation is its relevance to the many, many millions who live in crowded urban environments where there is no access to land. In most places a simple spreading of people across the whole country would simply create sprawl since there are now so many people and so little suitable land (assuming barriers relating to its ownership have somehow vanished).
The logistical challenge of moving so many people would itself be daunting. Indeed the only times it has been tried, things have often not wrked out well. Perhaps the most extreme example of mass resettlement from town to country was the Year Zero in Kampuchea, Most proposals and actual initiatives have of course avoided the terrible brutalities of the Khymer Rouge but even then there are real hurdles to overcome. Thus the wartime urban evacuations in World War 2 Britain were far from smooth. Remember that to make a sufficient difference in the time and on the scale necessary now, we would have to be making large-scales changes rapidly.
The small-scale ‘commune’ option is by itself offers little in the short-term to those large-scale crises where in an area thousands lose their jobs due to the closure of a major employer and its knock-on effects. Immediate measures are necessary to cushion the effects. To that extent, some central support from the much derided ‘state’ can help (eg steel crisis in South Wales).
It might be noted that the various of ‘alternativist’ communes, workers cooperatives and so forth in history have collapsed, sometimes due to the hostile external environment but also sometimes due to internal conflicts. The Israeli kibbutzim, for example, suffered badly from the ‘free rider’ problem, people who would not pull their weight eg https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/aug/13/kibbutz-100-years-old-uncertain-future. [Other examples are discussed in ‘Resettling America’, edited by Gary Coates]
The way forward is a sustainable redevelopment of the existing urban area, not relocation to surviving countryside which, if done on a big scale in countries such as the UK, would destroy it.
But the core point of the film is the higher quality of life possible if we escape the trappings of consumerism and the treadmill of contemporary work patterns. For showing that, the film makers must be congratulated.