Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  56 minutes
Date:  2000
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 9-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
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Helen Nearing

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A moving portrait of the lives and deaths of homesteading authors, Helen and Scott Nearing.

Helen Nearing

This video examines the lives and deaths of Maine authors Helen Nearing and her husband, Scott, who were best known for their book about homesteading practices called 'Living the Good Life'. More than a biography, this hour-long documentary looks at the Nearings' commitment to self-sufficiency and voluntary simplicity and unveils the spiritual philosophy that underlay their lives and work.

Producers Polly Bennell and Andrea Sarris spent five years collecting photographs, interviews and archival footage to create this moving and provocative portrait.

'Offers tantalizing glimpses into the reality and mythology of Helen's life. Using photography, documents, and personal interviews, it draws the viewer into the world of the Nearings and what they sought to accomplish...A solid addition for school, college, and public libraries.' Kathleen Sullivan, Library Journal

'(An) informed biographical examination of the lives and deaths of homesteading authors Helen Nearing and Scott Nearing.' Midwest Book Review

'A very moving and uplifting account of a life led fully yet simply.' New Hope Review International Online


Honorable Mention, Columbus International Film and Video Festival
Honorable Mention, EarthVision International Environmental Video Festival
Maine International Film Festival
American Psychological Association Convention
Portland Museum of Art


Main credits

Bennell, Polly (film producer)
Bennell, Polly (film director)
Sarris, Andrea (film producer)
Sarris, Andrea (film director)

Other credits

Camera, Andrea Sarris, Richard Searls; online/offline editors, Carroll Yani, Betsy Carson; music by Mark Birmingham; Helen Nearing interview provided by Robert Atkinson.

Distributor credits

Polly Bennell and Andrea Sarris

Polly Bennell and Andrea Sarris

Docuseek2 subjects

Death and Dying
Aging and Geriatrics
Women's Studies
American Studies
Psychology and Mental Health
Religion and Spirituality
American (U.S.) Studies

Distributor subjects

American Studies
Death And Dying
Environmental Ethics
Social Psychology
Voluntary Simplicity
Women's Studies


homesteading, Helen and Scott Nearing, self-sufficiency, voluntary simplicity; "Helen Nearing"; Bullfrog Films

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