11 user 21 critic

Commune (2005)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 26 July 2005 (USA)
A documentary on the Black Bear Ranch Commune, an alternative living community founded in 1968 in the remote North Californian wilderness.



On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A feature documentary film set in Hollywood, examining a radical experiment in '70s utopian living. The Source Family were the darlings of the Sunset Strip until their communal living, ... See full summary »

Directors: Maria Demopoulos, Jodi Wille
Stars: Ahom Aquarian, Isis Aquarian, Elena Michaels
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Ginger Baker looks back on his musical career with Cream and Blind Faith; his introduction to Fela Kuti; his self-destructive patterns and losses of fortune; and his current life inside a fortified South African compound.

Director: Jay Bulger
Stars: Ginger Baker, Femi Kuti, Eric Clapton
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This documentary tells the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party, one of the 20th century's most alluring and controversial organizations that captivated the world's attention for nearly 50 years.

Director: Stanley Nelson
Stars: Angela Arnold, Erica Ball, Rhon G. Flatts
Documentary | History | News
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A stylish, in depth look at the renaissance in psychedelic drug research in light of current scientific, medical and cultural knowledge. The film explores these socially taboo substances as... See full summary »

Director: Oliver Hockenhull
Stars: William S. Burroughs, Wade Davis, Rick Doblin
Commune (2016)
Short | Horror

A man takes a job as the guardian of a rundown London house. Charged with keeping the property secure, he soon realises that it's not the building that needs protecting, but himself. A ... See full summary »

Director: Thomas Perrett
Stars: Tom Weller, Robin King
The Commune (2016)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A story about the clash between personal desires vs. solidarity and tolerance in a Danish commune in the 70's.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Stars: Ulrich Thomsen, Fares Fares, Trine Dyrholm
WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The staff of a struggling radio station have a chance at success after the new programming director changes the format to rock music

Stars: Gary Sandy, Gordon Jump, Loni Anderson
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In this war drama blurring the lines between documentary and fiction, the working class and the bourgeoisie of 19th century Paris are interviewed and covered on television, before and during a tragic workers' class revolt.

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Eliane Annie Adalto, Pierre Barbieux, Bernard Bombeau
Taxi (1978–1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The staff of a New York City taxicab company go about their job while they dream of greater things.

Stars: Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Danny DeVito
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1970, 1,500 hippies and their guru Stephen Gaskin founded a commune in rural Tennessee. Members forked over their savings, grew their own food, delivered their babies at home and built a... See full summary »

Directors: Rena Mundo Croshere, Nadine Mundo
Stars: Rena Mundo Croshere, Nadine Mundo
Commune (2015)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Sher Bautista
Action | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Incited by a disillusioned young man who has decided to flee from civilization, a group of 4 people go searching for freedom and happiness on an isolated island . When their boat goes ... See full summary »

Director: Amos Sefer
Stars: Asher Tzarfati, Shmuel Wolf, Lily Avidan


Cast overview, first billed only:
Mahaj Seeger ...
Herself - Black Bear Resident
Himself - Black Bear Resident
Cedar Seeger ...
Himself - Black Bear Resident
Mel Kramer ...
Himself - Local Resident
Elsa Marley ...
Herself - Black Bear Resident
Michael Tierra ...
Himself - Black Bear Resident
Richard Marley ...
Himself - Black Bear Resident
Larry Bacon ...
Himself - Public Defender
Hoss Bennett ...
Himself - Neighbor
Creek Hanauer ...
Himself - Black Bear Resident
Harriet Beinfeld ...
Herself - Black Bear Resident
Martin Linhart ...
Himself - Black Bear Resident
Peter Leaf ...
Himself - Black Bear Resident
Osha Neumann ...
Himself - Black Bear Resident
Kenoli Oleari ...
Himself - Black Bear Resident


In the late 1960s, a few free thinkers cobbled together donations, primarily from Hollywood, to buy 80 acres at the end of a dirt road in Siskiyou County, California: Big Bear Ranch, a commune with the motto "free land for free people." Archival footage, photographs, documents and news articles, and interviews with people who lived or still live there tell the commune's history: the cold first winter, women and men doing the same work, communal decision making, emerging environmental politics, free love and family formation, child rearing and memories of growing up there, a late 70's crisis with a cult-like group that moved in, and assessment by those grown old of what Big Bear meant. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Peace and love are only half the story.




Not Rated

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 July 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

To koinovio  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the news reports in the film, it is said that the Vietnam War has just finished, which occurred in 1975. However, Pol Pot is mentioned several times in the news before this announcement. Pol Pot did not become leader of Cambodia until October 1976, and he was largely unknown in Europe at the time that the Vietnam War ended. See more »


Himself - Black Bear Resident: I wish I had know I was dying 50 years ago
Himself - Black Bear Resident: ... because, you know, I might have paid more attention to some of the things that I kind of brushed aside.
See more »


Features Milestones (1975) See more »


The Ballad of Cedar and Mahaj
Written and Performed by Cedar Seeger
CedarSongs, BMI
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Incisive look at life in a hippie Commune.
4 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Actor and former 60s activist Peter Coyote, narrates this documentary about the Black Bear commune. Black Bear is located in the rugged rural environment, of Northern California. During the 60s and early 70s, several hippies got funding from Hollywood celebrities (including actor James Coburn), to finance the creation of the Black Bear commune. Back then, Hollywood types thought it was chic to become involved with the counterculture.

Those who were members of Black Bear, gave honest accounts of the joys, and also the very real problems, of living in a commune. Their devotion to their progressive ideals, inspired them to make a go at forming Black Bear. Keeping the commune together though, ultimately proved more difficult than they expected. They had to contend with serious issues regarding basic survival, sharing childrearing responsibilities, and how best to express their sexuality, without causing jealousy and alienation amongst themselves. Members came and went to Black Bear over the years. Despite all of the upheaval and changes, the Black Bear commune still exists now. That's pretty amazing. Especially considering how unsympathetic society has become these days, to the hippie values that spawned the Black Bear commune.

This film takes a look back, at when hippies were the avant guard of progressive politics in society. It sheds light on an important era in American history, that many people would like to know more about. So Commune is a very relevant documentary, for those that have an interest in the socio-political changes, that occurred during the 60s and early 70s.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Discuss Commune (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page