Movies About Homesteading


Homesteading is a self-sufficient lifestyle involving growing food and raising livestock to support themselves, which can be done on either a large or small scale in any location.

Although most of us won’t be able to move out to the country ourselves, these movies can serve as inspiration. From realistic to far-fetched depictions, these flicks offer glimpses into simpler lifestyles that we can only dream about living.

Captain Fantastic (1999)

Viggo Mortensen stars as Ben Cash, a father of six living off-grid in Washington State’s wilderness. It’s an engaging eco-drama with sumptuous cinematography of America’s great outdoors that raises complex, provocative, and humorous issues about parenting and education, revisiting themes from James Fenimore Cooper’s 1841 novel The Deerslayer as it delves deep into some deep philosophical depths.

The film centers on one family’s relationship to civilization and their subsequent embrace of an alternative lifestyle based on rugged survival and self-reliance. Director Matt Ross weaves high-resolution visuals of natural beauty together with touching dialogue and expressive physical performances into a credible fictional world in which characters’ choices and conflicts play out – though without giving viewers any sense of daily rustic life challenges such as bloody animal slaughterings for meat production and larders total of homegrown foodstuffs grown by themselves.

Ross’s screenplay for Thoreau Meets Noam Chomsky is an engaging blend of Thoreau meets Noam Chomsky, and one could probably say the movie serves as a satire against liberal counterculture generally; at the same time, it seems carefully calibrated so as to please both its target audience and poke them gently when necessary.

Mortensen makes for an outstanding lead, and his performance is the centerpiece of this movie. Exuding leather-skinned macho intensity that defies classification as starry-eyed woodland progressive, Mortensen also looks every inch the part of an intimidating hunter in Hemingway/James Fenimore Cooper style.

While occasionally venturing into overly sentimental territory and providing too facile of a resolution, this film is still well-crafted and worthwhile viewing for its exploration of family relations in modern society. Although not an instant classic like other titles on this list, “Far From Heaven” remains a powerful and worthwhile drama with plenty of powerful moments throughout. It certainly cannot be considered an Academy Award contender, yet it is still worthy of watching due to its exploration of such complex topics as love versus family bonds in modern society.

Affluenza (1999)

Homesteaders delight in witnessing life come to fruition – from seeds planted in the ground that bloom into flowers to newborn animals being born to their mothers – but these events can also be complex for homesteaders to deal with. 2013 brought new awareness to “affluenza,” as Ethan Couch, an affluent Texas teenager arrested for running over four people with his car was using testimony from an expert psychologist to defend himself on grounds that they owed their actions to his privileged upbringing as his defense. Common symptoms of “affluenza” include an all-consuming focus on wealth accumulation, social isolation from others, and self-image tied directly to financial status.

Jeong Kwan (1999)

As a young woman, Jeong Kwan (secular name Chunjeong) left rural Yeongju for Baekyangsa temple in Naejangsan National Park of South Korea and became its monastic chef and master chef. Years later, this Buddhist nun and master chef has emerged as an influencer on Asian (and now global) food scenes; she cooks exclusively from ingredients grown on monastery grounds as well as producing miso and kimchi from scratch! According to her Zen practice philosophy, cooking should always take place within this harmony between ingredients and their environment when creating food masterpieces like these!

The Last Man on Earth (1999)

The Last Man on Earth is an engaging Science Fiction film that imagines a world in which men have almost become extinct when one scientist successfully clones one and enters a female-dominated society with his new presence. Starring Julie Bowen, Paul Francis, Tamlyn Tomita, and L. Scott Caldwell – it explores topics including gender dynamics, power relations, and scientific experimentation – in an entertaining fashion.

This movie has its fair share of issues. Many stem from its limited budget. Furthermore, there’s no discernible direction, and too much emphasis is put on overly dramatic dialogue, which makes the movie feel more like a sitcom than an epic adventure film.

Though The Last Man on Earth does have its limitations, it remains an enjoyable watch. It does an adequate job exploring the idea that homesteading may not be as straightforward as initially assumed – depicting homesteaders trying to establish themselves in Wyoming but being harassed by ranchers, serving as a reminder that it takes a romantic mindset in order for it to succeed.

Another striking aspect of The Last Man on Earth is how it deconstructs vampire mythology by disproving widely held beliefs about vampires, such as bullets being effective for killing vampires or that they avoid mirrors due to fear of reflections. While not an essential feature, this extra detail definitely sets The Last Man on Earth apart from other vampire thrillers.

Even with its limitations, The Last Man on Earth remains an enjoyable watch and a significant contribution to homesteading history. Fans of sci-fi, vampires, or action/adventure movies should definitely give this film a look, especially its haunting ending, which may have inspired George Romero’s finale of Night of the Living Dead or perhaps its entire concept.