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Commune

Commune (2006)

tomatometer

92

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

45

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 593

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My Rating

Movie Info

During the social upheaval of the early 1970s, utopian communities dotted the American landscape. They aimed to reshape the world with "free love" and common property, and they excited controversy and fear amongst local residents across the country. Premised on the idea of "Free Land for Free People," and financed by the largesse of Hollywood celebrities, the founders of Black Bear bought land deep in the wilderness and raised a rough-hewn homestead. Over the years, hundreds would join the

Unrated,

Documentary, Special Interest

Jonathan Berman

Oct 23, 2007

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All Critics (20) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (1) | DVD (1)

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.

February 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

February 23, 2007 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Commune gets at the central, seductive paradoxes inherent in so much counterculture belief and practice.

February 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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Fitfully interesting, but would have benefited from tighter focus and finer detail.

November 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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It's good to hear people talking about openheartedness without irony.

November 9, 2006 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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It's fascinating to see how the Black Bears got onto their current path, but we don't see enough of the journey.

November 3, 2006 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kinda down-to-earth comments make Commune kinda intriguing.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Examines what life was like at an idealized, hippie oasis back in the Sixties. Not exactly groovy, or anybody's idea of nirvana, dude.

December 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Upstage Magazine
Upstage Magazine

An intriguing, entertaining and engaging documentary. My only criticism -- I simply wanted to know so much more.

November 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Hollywood Report Card
Hollywood Report Card

If not a social history of the '60s, it's a close examination of a quintessential '60s phenomenon that speaks volumes about the attitudes and experiences that shaped the decade.

November 3, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Comment (1)
TV Guide's Movie Guide

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.

October 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

What is fascinating about Berman's Commune is how well it captures the passage of time and the life lessons learned from the commune experience.

May 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

Audience Reviews for Commune

[font=Century Gothic]"Commune" is a satisfactory documentary about the Black Bear Ranch which was founded in 1968 by Richard and Elsa Marley as a secluded refuge in Siskiyou County, California where people could reject the competitive nature of society, be themselves and work together in peace. Despite the collective nature of the commune, what was needed here is a single voice to give a straightforward history of the ranch which is apparently still going strong today, thus avoiding being just another cliche of the 1960's. At the same time, there is too much emphasis on the present day activities of the founders(gee, that Peter Coyote guy certainly did well for himself...) who eventually left the commune to return to the outside world. Even though the documentary is not as deep as it could have been, there is testimony on how women contributed to the workforce and the improvised healthcare.("The Business of Being Born" made a better connection between the communes and the rise in natural childbirth.) So, there was definitely more going on here than the grainy amateur footage of liberated people running around naked would attest to.[/font]
July 1, 2008
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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