Commune (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Commune (2006)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Commune Trailers & Photos

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 community, and life would be complicated by conflicts about the role of women, child-rearing, proper communalist behavior, the FBI and, most traumatically, a child-snatching cult. Although the idea of communes is now often relegated to a naive past, "Commune" documents a successful and lasting, if controversial, legacy at the Black Bear Ranch--and provides a window on the social and economic forces that have fueled the resurgence in communal living. Although they now call themselves "intentional communities," which are often rooted in practical considerations as much as ideology, all kinds of groups--including eco-conscious grad students and forward-thinking retirees--now carry on the legacy of cooperative living.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Jonathan Berman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 23, 2007
Five Points Media - Official Site

News & Interviews for Commune

Critic Reviews for Commune

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (13)

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.

Full Review… | February 23, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | February 23, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Commune gets at the central, seductive paradoxes inherent in so much counterculture belief and practice.

Full Review… | February 22, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Fitfully interesting, but would have benefited from tighter focus and finer detail.

Full Review… | November 9, 2006
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

It's good to hear people talking about openheartedness without irony.

Full Review… | November 9, 2006
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

It's fascinating to see how the Black Bears got onto their current path, but we don't see enough of the journey.

Full Review… | November 3, 2006
AV Club
Top Critic

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]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Peace and Love are Only Half the Story

This was so informative and interesting (well, of course it was to me as I am into anything that has to do with the '60s & '70s. :P) This documentary was great because it had in-depth interviews with a lot of the people that lived at the Black Bear Ranch. What's even cooler is that the actor Peter Coyote grew up there and he talked a lot about how it was.
Ah, the beautiful people just enjoying each other. :) That's what it's all about. It was very refreshing. I can totally picture myself living that way, or at least trying it out. I don't (yet) believe this world is so far gone that we can't have a place where people can live happily and free with one another. People, especially the ones my age, may think the '60s where so long ago, but I think the opposite. There's so much to be learned from the past generations and I plan to keep the hippie spirit alive. It's not long ago when you really think about it, humans are humans, no matter if it was 50 or 500 years ago.

This movie demonstrates the positive and negative aspects of living at the commune. It has some awesome footage too. I recommend this to anyone who is curious about what living in a commune is like, especially one of the first seemingly successful ones.


Nicole in Wonderland

Commune Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Commune on our Movie forum!