Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 19
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 1
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Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 1
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Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 582
In 1968 members of San Francisco's Mime Troupe and Digger Movement decided to separate from society and form their own community, known as the Black Bear Ranch, to reconnect with nature and experience a different way of life. At the turn of the new century the resilient counterculture settlement was still active at the base of majestic Mount Shasta, and filmmaker Jonathan Berman traveled to the eighty-acre tract to explore just how the Black Bear Ranch continues to thrive despite the concerns of
Nov 10, 2006 Limited
Oct 23, 2007
Five Points Media - Official Site
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Commune channels a bygone era of drop-outs living an American dream on the Free Love frontier. This is the happy alternative to the apocalyptic California sub-cultures of Charles Manson and the Rev. Jim Jones.
Watching Jonathan Berman's affectionate documentary, Commune, about the influential establishment in Siskiyou County, brought to mind the recent documentary Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple.
Commune gets at the central, seductive paradoxes inherent in so much counterculture belief and practice.
Fitfully interesting, but would have benefited from tighter focus and finer detail.
Berman blends home movies of ranch life with interviews with former residents, their now-grown children and neighbors of the ranch.
Examines what life was like at an idealized, hippie oasis back in the Sixties. Not exactly groovy, or anybody's idea of nirvana, dude.
An intriguing, entertaining and engaging documentary. My only criticism -- I simply wanted to know so much more.
It's fascinating to see how the Black Bears got onto their current path, but we don't see enough of the journey.
The documentary is loose-limbed and not at all artful--which is to say, it's scarcely bourgeois and just as the Black Bear Ranch people would like it.
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