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Commune (2005)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 326 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 11 user | 18 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

A documentary on the Black Bear Ranch Commune, an alternative living community founded in 1968 in the remote North Californian wilderness.

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Peace and love are only half the story.

Genres:

Documentary

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

26 July 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

To koinovio  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Himself - Black Bear Resident: I wish I had know I was dying 50 years ago
[chuckles]
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 »

Connections

References Rashomon (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

The Ballad of Cedar and Mahaj
Written and Performed by Cedar Seeger
CedarSongs, BMI
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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.


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