Films about hermits

Here are films of interest about hermits and eremitism, plus films about solitude, silence, and simplicity. They are presented from most recently released to oldest. Trailers or equivalent are embedded when available. The presence of a film here does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation, though all the films present hermits and the related topics in a positive and sympathetic way.

Biographical films (religious)
Biographical films (wilderness)
Films about solitude and silence

Feature films (fiction) - 12 films

Leave No Trace (US, 2018)

directed by Debra Granik; produced by Bleecker Street
from Bleecker Street website: "Will and his teenage daughter Tom have lived off the grid for years in the forests of Portland, Oregon. When their idyllic life is shattered, both are put into social services. After clashing with their new surroundings, Will and Tom set off on a harrowing journey back to their wild homeland."

All is Lost (US, 2013)

produced by J. C. Chandor
from IMDb: "Deep into a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean, an unnamed man (Redford) wakes to find his 39-foot yacht taking on water after a collision with a shipping container left floating on the high seas. With his navigation equipment and radio disabled, the man sails unknowingly into the path of a violent storm. Despite his success in patching the breached hull, his mariner's intuition and a strength that belies his age, the man barely survives the tempest. Using only a sextant and nautical maps to chart his progress, he is forced to rely on ocean currents to carry him into a shipping lane in hopes of hailing a passing vessel. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meager supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face."

The Wall (Das Wend) (Austria-Germany, 2012)

Written and directed by Julian Pölsler
from IMDb: "A woman inexplicably finds herself cut off from all human contact when an invisible, unyielding wall suddenly surrounds the countryside. Accompanied by her loyal dog Lynx, she becomes immersed in a world untouched by civilization and ruled by the laws of nature. "

German language trailer: http://youtu.be/QQMN8Nwb8Gs

(UK, 2012)

produced by Susannah Bragg
from the Indiegogo website:
"Hermit" is a short fiction film about a young prodigy who, for the past 20 years, has woven fantastic stories of worldwide acclaim -- from the confines of her room. However, on her 28th birthday, she runs out of ideas. Now, she must re-enter the world...


Get Low (USA, 2009)

produced by Dean Zanuck; directed by Aaron Schneider
from the website:
For years, townsfolk had been terrified of the backwoods recluse Felix Bush. People say he's done all manner of unspeakable things ... Then, one day, Felix rides into town and says he wants a living funeral, in which anyone who has heard a story about him will come to tell it. ... Behind Felix's surreal plan lies a very real and long-held secret that must get out. ... But on the big day, he's the one who is going to do the telling about why he has been hiding out in the woods.


Shaking Tokyo (Japan, 2008)

One of four films comprising Tokyo!, by various directors

produced and directed by Bong Joon-Ho
from the website:
For more than 10 years, he's been a hikikomori. He lives shut up in his apartment, strictly limiting all contact with the outside world to an absolute minimum. When a pizza delivery girl faints in his home during an earthquake, the unthinkable happens — he falls in love. Shortly after, he learns that the girl has in turn become a hikikomori. Will he dare cross the threshold that separates his apartment from the rest of the world?


Ostrov (The Island) Russia, 2006)

directed by Pavel Lungin
from the website:
In northern Russia, on a desert island, Anatoly lives [as a hermit] in a small Orthodox monastery, working in the boiler room. Fellow monks are embarrassed by his strange behavior but people come from afar believing that Anatoly is able to provide wise counsel, to cure sickness, and to exorcise demons. Anatoly never refuses to help, but he suffers the weight of conscience from a war-time murder.


Milarepa (Bhutan, 2006)

produced by Neten Chokling
official website now German; English language website no longer available
from the English website
Milarepa, one of the most widely known Tibetan saints, is also revered for the verses he composed throughout his life, known as the Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa. His faithful devotion to his teacher, Marpa, astonishing perseverance, and ultimate attainment made his life story into a legend, inspiring millions.


The Man Who Planted Trees (Canada, 1987)

Produced by Frédéric Back
based on the book of the same title (L'Homme qui plantait des arbres) by Jean Giono.

The story of a shepherd who repairs the ruined ecosystem of a secluded valley by single-handedly cultivating a forest over a thirty year period. Over 35 years, Elzeard Bouffier quietly cultivated a magnificent forest in a desolate area of southern France. The tale is told by a young traveler who happens upon the old gentleman one day, and finds himself returning to rediscover the landscape several times over the following decades.


Dersu Uzala (USSR/Japan, 1974)

Directed and screenplay by Akira Kurosawa
Set at the turn of the twentieth century, the film tells the story of a Mongol hermit living alone in the Siberian taiga who is befriended by a Russian captain surveying the area. The captain and his soldiers take on Dersu as an invaluable guide. Dersu displays an intimate knowledge of nature and survival, and the captain comes to recognize rare gifts in the simple frontiersman. An epic scale yet modest and deliberate in its depth.


Simon of the Desert (Simón del desierto) (Mexico. 1965)

Simon of the Desert
Directed by Luis Buñuel.

Despite Buñuel's reputation for anti-clericalism and atheism, this portrait of Simon Stylites, the 5th-century desert hermit who stood on a pillar most of his life, is imminently sympathetic with the protagonist's rejection of the world. "The character really moves me. I enjoy his sincerity, his lack of interest, his innocence," said Buñuel in an interview. Simon is tormented by the devil (a woman) in various guises, and black humor reveals the foibles of Simon's various visitors, though none of whom affects Simon's stolid perseverance. A bitter satire? or rather a thoughtful and provocative look at what it takes to oppose modern culture, noise, and decadence. Hermitary review.


Saint Charbel the Hermit)(Lebanon, 1940s-50s?)

Directed by Nicolas Abou Samah; produced by USEK (Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik, Lebanon)

Part of a longer film "Life of Saint Charbel": www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTexm6MzSWA. No other information readily available.



PAGE 1: Biographical films (religious) - PAGE 2: Biographical films (wilderness)
PAGE 4: Films about solitude