In this deft animated short, Jennifer Zheng concisely captures the tenderness of a Chinese mother and an American daughter coming to terms after years of being out of step with one another over what could or should be. The Chinese Cultural Revolution provides an apt metaphoric backdrop.
Jon and Suzy Muir are the couple next door. That is, they are the off-the-grid, self-sufficient, dyed-in-the-wool, non-conformist couple next door. In Australia. This simple, touching and engrossing film tracks an eight-year slice of their not-so-next-door lives. In a way, not a lot happens. In another, everything does. The Muir’s story, developed in a slow, rhythmic, no-surprises cadence, is full of surprises. One of the biggest may be how deeply they endear themselves to us without ever softening the focus of the autobiographical lens. A postscript: If you’re prone to garden envy, be prepared for a serious case.