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The Hermit
of Treig
Dir: Lizzie MacKenzie
79 mins

released 2022

A meticulous diarist and avid photographer, Ken Smith has spent the past four decades in the Scottish Highlands, living alone in a log cabin nestled near Loch Treig, known as 'the lonely loch'. He has no electricity or running water. He lives off the land, fishing for his supper, chopping wood, and even brewing his own tipple. Filmed over 10 years, director Lizzie Mackenzie poetically captures Ken's profound, spiritual relationship with the wilderness: "If you love the land, it loves you back". Now in his 70s, Ken reflects upon the reasons he turned his back on society, the vulnerability of old age and the awe and wonder of a life lived in nature in this humorous, transcendent and life affirming feature documentary. 

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The Guardian

“Winner of the audience award at this year’s Glasgow film festival, Lizzie MacKenzie’s tender documentary debut about the simplicities of life far from so-called civilisation proves especially poignant in our hyper-connected time.”

the scotsman

“Debut director Lizzie MacKenzie spent seven years getting to know her subject before he let her start filming and that shows in the lovely bond that emerges as she gently draws out his life story while probing him about the ever-changing challenges of living in the wild. The end result is a gentle, illuminating picture of what makes a fulfilling life. ”

One Room with a view

“The film feels like reading a diary, complete with tiny observations and grand thoughts on life, and by so keenly translating Ken’s life to the screen, The Hermit of Treig gets to the heart of this most unique man and way of living.”
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