Back in '88, Tomlinson's interviewees were motivated to varying degrees by the desire to live simply, cultivate community, and embrace spirituality. Twenty years later, they're keeping the faith. Although one woman now works for Microsoft and drives an SUV, none appear to live the typical, high-consumption lifestyle typical of boomers.
Two of the men have rejected the siren call of consumerism almost completely. Jeffery Stonehill, a former manager of the Beverly Hills Hotel, now lives in a derelict school bus without power or running water, content to work part-time as a music and language tutor. Skeeter remains an organic farmer and community organizer who lives communally without savings and with few possessions aside from some hand tools and books.
Two of the women, One Pine and Maeyowa, each raised families on rural homesteads while minimizing their interaction with the mainstream culture. As is often true, these mothers have had mixed success passing their values on to their children. Alas, Maeyowa has never met the children of her twenty-eight-year-old son who rejected her values by joining the Navy and loading up on debt to finance an expensive lifestyle. In some of the documentary's best segments, One Pine's daughters reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of their childhoods in clear-eyed detail.
Given that all of the principal interviewees were originally found at a "healing gathering", it's not surprising that unorthodox spiritual beliefs remain prominent among them. From the benign (tree-hugging), to the silly (celebrating fairies), to the cultish (Eckankar spirit travel), Tomlinson presents his interviewees' practices without comment or apparent condescension.
Video & Audio:
The stereo audio track sounds fine with clear dialogue throughout and features an enjoyable mix of obscure contemporary folk music.