Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Arctic Homesteading Documentary

Several years ago, when I was on an Alaskan homesteading documentary kick, I discovered this gem called "Braving Alaska," which I mentioned in a post: Braving Alaska: Food for Adventuresome Thought. Aside from the various high-quality documentaries on Dick Proeneke's homestead, I was unable to find anything else substantial at the time, and the Alaskan homesteading documentary kick eventually passed. Some years have gone by, and my Adventure Partner and I recently discovered Alaskan homesteading reality shows on Netflix. Although overly-dramatic, repetitive, and over-produced, they were interesting in their chronicles of the lives of families living on the margins of remaining frontier, and invigorated my desire for seeing what new documentaries were out there. Not only did I discover that "Braving Alaska" is now available on Youtube, which you can watch by clicking the link, but we found something even better. I stumbled across a homesteading website called The Walden Effect, with a link to a five-part documentary about one of the families from "Braving Alaska," the last people living a semi-nomadic hunter/gatherer life in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge: Heimo's Arctic Refuge. The narrator flies in by bush plane to spend a week with Heimo Korth and his wife, Edna, in one of their three rotating cabins in the wilderness, and his interpretation and humorous dialogue with Heimo creates a very entertaining and informative look into their life. Heimo Korth is quite a character, and gives some thought-provoking monologues on the shift from hunter/gatherer societies to agrarian societies throughout history, and how these have negatively impacted people as a species. He also discusses the importance of solitude balanced with our need for social interaction to maintain good mental health. The tone of the film is direct, matter-of-fact, and absent of any overly-dramatic music or WWF wrestling style narration. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am pleased to pass the experience along for your end-of-the-day, unwinding enjoyment. 

You're welcome.


  1. I love One Man's Wilderness! And I am also good friends with the folks from The Walden Effect. I'll have to check out that documentary!

  2. Good news. I am always happy when I hear about more homesteading documentary lovers out there!