Henry David Thoreau Movies & TV
Okay, so Thoreau isn't actually in this movie. But if you want a sense of what Transcendentalist life might have been like in 1860s Concord, then this movie is for you. It's based on the book by Louisa May Alcott, a student of Thoreau's at Concord Academy, and whose father Bronson was a major player in the Transcendentalist movement.
In this short film set in 1847, two impoverished children from the Boston slums stumble upon a strange cabin in the woods near Walden Pond. Its enigmatic resident helps them to see that though they are poor in worldly goods, they are rich in the things that really matter. Guess who it is!
In 1992, 24-year-old Christopher McCandless hiked into the Alaskan outback to live solo off the land. He was heavily influenced by Thoreau and hoped to accomplish in Alaska what Thoreau did on Walden Pond. His story ended tragically. This film is based on that true story.
Ritch Duncan is a comedian from Concord, Massachusetts. In this very short (12 minute) documentary film, he travels back to Concord and visits Walden Pond to see what's left of Thoreau's cabin. (Spoiler answer: Nothing.)
Filmmaker Bruce Merwin's own website calls him the "Father of Transcendental Cinema." We're not sure how many other contenders there are for that title, but his first film tackled Thoreau's experiment at Walden. The film crew camped out at Walden Pond during shooting. The film was panned, and Merwin is working on another one.