The Source Family (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Source Family (2013)



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Movie Info

It's 1971 and communes and new religions are on the rise. The Source Family are an "Aquarian tribe," a secretive but outlandish group of 140 beautiful young people who stroll Los Angeles in colorful robes, devotees of "Father Yod," a controversial restaurateur-turned-spiritual leader with fourteen wives and his own psychedelic rock band. The Family lives in a mansion and operates a popular restaurant on the Sunset Strip, serving vegetarian cuisine to musicians and movie stars, pioneering a national trend. But their radical lifestyle instigates the authorities. Their demise is dramatic and painful, but Yod's spirit lives on.
Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
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Critic Reviews for The Source Family

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (8)

The former disciples interviewed here, now mostly professionals or entrepreneurs in New Agey businesses, seem frank about their leader's excesses, but the wild subject matter cries out for a more objective treatment.

Full Review… | June 13, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

[An] artfully executed and engrossing documentary ...

May 10, 2013
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Baker's transformation from "spiritual father" to megalomaniac follows a familiar path of brainwashing and hedonism ...

Full Review… | May 9, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

While the movie isn't up to much more than illustrating how far his reach extends (two of the commune members live in Yelm, Thurston County), it's a very agreeable entertainment.

May 2, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Great stories don't always make for great documentaries, although it's easy to confuse the two.

Full Review… | May 2, 2013
AV Club
Top Critic

Maria Demopoulos and Jodi Wille's disturbing film is an object lesson in psychological manipulation.

April 30, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Source Family


There's something insanely engrossing about seeing real footage of cults. Stemming from the suburban paranoia of the fifties, cults have always been seen as the black hole from which engaged, bright teenagers disappear forever. Legions of drug addicted, listless, pothead young people, flocked to the arms of the omnipotent Father Yod, leader of the Source Family; who are the subjects of this documentary. Read more at

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Bizarre and entertaining, The Source Family takes you on the journey of many of the members of this cult. At first you're fascinated by the enigmatic leader "Father Yod", and by the end you're disgusted and frightened by him. It doesn't totally justify its run time, and there are times I wondered if there was more to this story. But it will satisfy you on a weekday afternoon if you're home sick or something.

Nathan Martin
Nathan Martin

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