40 Years of Complete Isolation

2011 ,    » 45 Comments

40 Years of Complete IsolationSince 1965, Faustino Barrientos has lived alone on the shores lake O'Higgins' in a house built from the remains of a shipwrecked fishing vessel.

He's a pastoralist, living mostly off the land and his livestock, with few modern amenities.

His nearest neighbors are in Villa O'Higgins, a small community of several hundred people, 25 miles away, accessible only by a two-day horseback ride through rugged mountain animal paths. Every few years, Faustino makes this ride to sell his cattle in town.

Currently 81 years old, Faustino is reaching the end of his life, and his self-imposed isolation is being encroached upon by the forces of government, economy, and tourism.

VICE went to document his lifestyle and speak with him about the changing face of Patagonia and the gaucho lifestyle.

Watch the full documentary now (playlist - 37 minutes)

Ratings: 8.26/10 from 34 users.

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45 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Klutee

    This is a amasing and excellent documentary - thank you

  2. TheDanishViking

    The girl doing the voice-over has this extremely annoying throatsound at the end of each sentence. I think maybe she is straining her voice to try to make it sound deeper and more grown up? Really bad idea. I had to give up watching after three minutes. Shame.

  3. ZarathustraSpeaks

    Looks like a good doc. but its cloudy today so I doubt Ill have enough juice to watch it.

  4. Trevis Robotie

    dreamland-very beautiful.give me my woman and i'm ready to live and die here.thanx

  5. Raskbro2400 7

    Excellent doc. Enjoyed learning about Faustino Barrientos and his way of life. nothing like i was expecting, he seems quite happy now. thanks for posting the link.

  6. Akalilglobug1

    i would give all my modern everything to have the ability to do just this... amazing

  7. Nosferat

    I respect the man for having the courage,willpower and inner strength to cope with this.

    I for sure admit that I would have some difficulties integrating into a life of complete and utter isolation from the world around me, I like nature, but I like my cozy couch, a warm tea and a good book as well, and some nice music go play in the background.

    Most people envision a sort of idyllic romance with nature, a place where you can be one with nature in perfect harmony. Those people tend to dream too much. Living alone, on your own is brutal.

    In the world of fast food, coke, mocaccino's and iPhone's. Most people barely know how to cook basic food like a chicken breast, and they dream about being alone on their own in nature ? :) A really sad joke, what will you eat? Grass and dirt?

    It is really hard and it takes a man with a strong determination and a clear goal to do this, otherwise you will break in a matter of days.

  8. Anonymus

    nice lock at the door

  9. Jane Doe

    Just because you can't cook a chicken breast doesn't mean the rest of us can't. C'mon man, that's an ignorant thing to say.

    I agree with Akalilglobug1, if I could do this then I would.

  10. Nosferat

    Jane Doe

    Nice twist of my words, and nice trolling attempt :)

    Where did I mention that I do not know how to cook a chicken breast? I meant as in the general population. Next time do me a favor and read with your eyes open. Otherwise people will think you are really ignorant...

  11. Nosferat

    I do not really think you would switch places with someone like that.
    Unless you are living in some war torn place like Kongo where you had to go in the mines since your childhood.

    Or you live in Iraq and your entire family has been bombed to pieces together with all your belongings.

    I do not think most people appreciate the things they take for granted. Living in complete isolation from the world does not only take someone to have the will to move mountains, it also takes survival skills. I have a hard time imagining anyone who writes here or who comments on youtube, to actually know what it means to live alone on your own, and what a strain that can be on your psyche, you can easily go nuts if you are not prepared.

    What it means to actually hunt your food, catch it and cook it, to not have the internet that you are so dependent upon,no documentaries, no movies,no youtube, no smartphones, no games, no cars,no air conditioning, no central heating, no going out in town with friends, nothing.

    Just you alone and the wild things around you. It sounds nice and anyone will take a go at it for a few days. However most would not last 1 week alone, nature can offer quite the sites for our eyes and brains to imagine. However it has quite a brutal side as well, a place where if you are not prepared, you might end up dead.

    We all have wallpapers of nice mountains and beautiful tropical beaches, I wonder how many would actually have a go at it on living there like Tom Cruise in Cast Away.

  12. atur3866

    Humans are all each others therapists, healers, teachers and students too. How do we get our therapy if we live life alone?
    Faustino doesn't appear to need any. He seems so well adjusted and content living only for himself....Right or wrong, he is indeed a rare specimen.

  13. Matt Laird

    While I did enjoy the doc and learning about this unique individual...I couldn't help but be distracted by the host. She is everywhere throughout the movie and rather overbearing. Hell the first part is just her. It seems as though the film makers were trying to romanticize Faustino...when all Faustino was trying to do was live.

  14. Patsy

    Pretty countryside.. it does look very peaceful on the surface.
    Had to giggle at his philosophy concerning fear and his balls.

  15. dmxi

    maybe the goggles blend out the fact that his living right next to a motorway,believing he's 'isolated'.typical alzheimer syndrome>smirk<.

  16. dmxi

    blimey,they found biggles !

  17. Shawn

    couldnt really get into this i mean the guy has clothing and whine hows that isolation he just doesnt have hydro or a car like millions of poor people everywhere yet hes just fortunate not to live in a third world country and in a place where its possible to sustain himself off the land

  18. Dick Proenneke

    Super cheesy....That's just another day in the 3rd world,she hyped it all up like this guy had some special talent to stay alive..

  19. Irishkev

    Hey , don't laugh . I do that every morning too , works wonders .

  20. Wylde14e

    Amazing way of life. I do though,question why one might not be vegetarian. Cooking dried beans, lentils etc. could be an option, I'd say.

  21. PaulGloor

    It takes a bigger set of balls and skills than most people realize to live out in the wilderness like that. That is very far from 3rd world, that is a nearly ancient way of life that we oft forget was the trademark of the first settlers that forged a life in the wild lands of our respective countries and paved the way for the cushy future we all enjoy now.

  22. PaulGloor

    He mentioned the lands were poor for farming i think, so you need the animals. Without the boat, he wouldn't have a reliable supply or variety of dried goods to support a vegetarian diet.


    Bless Him.

  24. Alessia_murphy

    aww bless

  25. Drdocwilmot

    Better than expected... I particularly enjoyed "the waiting for something to happen" so when it didn't I wasn't even disappointed.

  26. seoulman

    the title is mis leading. he in not in complete isolation! he gets his goods , he probably has been into town once and while, he is just a farmer living in the boonies, a hermit so to speak, plenty of these guys around.
    still good story.

  27. Boby5000

    Her voice is annoying.

  28. David Ewer

    A moving film. Faustino Barrientos is a very interesting man - it would have been nice to have learned a little more about him.

  29. Matt van den Ham

    haha..he locks his door

  30. TheDanishViking

    And so what?! We've all been isolated since the internet came along...

  31. Barzee

    1965 to 2005 is 40 years. We dont know what he did in those 40 years. Maybe he did live alone until then and in 2005 and people came into his life. The title is not mis leading, your understanding of it, is just wrong.

  32. Gabe Karl

    uhm, not really


    cellphones more so

  34. Kurt

    He's lucky enough not to be enslaved to power structure bills like gas, electric, and gasoline and all that. To perhaps live life with creation & spiritually. Unlike how we survive the struggle of corruptness of a physical world as we are all controlled by it.

  35. HidyHO

    electricty bills are power structures, maybe, but ffs, the heater is a good thing. post-moderinty, you so need to getout of your funk

  36. foxrocks1070

    well done, would be nice to see a folow up one day

  37. Nicholas Prem Tranter

    Kurt is right. We live with so much, without ever believing that we need so little. Even if we took away almost everything we do on a daily basis (and use); every single one of us would need two earths just to survive. To bring that down to one... that is the real challenge.

  38. ranii02

    3rd world? do you know the definition of 3rd world? :S

  39. KindleTheBonfire

    This documentary was amazing. I kind of shed some tears at the end because I hate goodbyes, it's just so lonely and depressing.
    Well, he's about to die and I hope he enjoyed his 40 years of loneliness.
    He likes to talk and tell stories, he really loves someone's company.
    t.t Farewell, grandpa...

  40. Gadea

    I have a lot of respect and admiration for Faustino Barrientos.
    Faustino was gracious and kind to his guest, despite the

    condescending tone of the female narrator.

    SeƱor Barrientos has lived his life his way and survived into his
    80's. I think he's an amazing man.
    He teaches us, that surviving with very little, making use of
    what you have is possible.

  41. Actof Courage

    What a guy....less is more. He doesn't need Obama care

  42. Sand

    "water temperature is always -7 degrees celsius" ... not bad :p. anyway i'm impressed with his lifestyle, it takes a strong minded human to go through with all that and manage as well. Great doc as usual Vice.

  43. Joshua Marks

    Faustino... the real deal.

  44. mark farley

    the idea that anyone could try to criticize any one thing about this doc is very disturbing and reveals much about the degradation of humanity. i will post again after i observe the last 30 min.

  45. gaboora

    Good film, nice landscape, interesting, pleasant people.

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