HIPPIE FAMILY VALUES has grown organically from my experience playing music with the Wayback Machine for the greater hippie diaspora of southern Arizona and New Mexico over the past 17 years. The film explores the legacy of the hippie movement and ethos through the stories of some fascinating and inspiring hippie elders, along with their kids and grandkids. These families are longtime residents of a communal ranch in New Mexico, where the Wayback Machine has played our favorite gig of the year every summer.
From 2005-15, I shot over 100 hours of footage, and began editing with Emmy winning, two-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker and editor Jim Klein in Fall 2014.
To support the long editing process, we raised over $23,000 through an Indiegogo campaign in April 2015, and after more than two years of work, we have finally completed a near final cut of the film — watch the first 10 minutes. Now we are seeking completion funds for the final sound mix, color grading, and other technical processes.
HIPPIE FAMILY VALUES counters dismissive hippy-dippy stereotypes with stories of real people whose worldview was forged in the countercultural flowering of the 1960s and who remain motivated by their youthful convictions now nearly fifty years later. Through these stories, the film examines the paradigm shift that fueled the hippie movement—a vision of healed relationships to body, mind, spirit, society, Earth and Cosmos that is more urgent than ever in the face of late corporate capitalism in the Age of Trump.
Some of the stories in the film
Ceramic artist Kate Brown moved to a communal New Mexico ranch to raise her children and work as a potter. At 60, she went back to school to learn animation (and her work appears in the film. Check out her music video for the Be Good Tanyas.) When she can no longer sustain the commute to care for her ailing 90-year old mother, Kate brings her home to this hippie community to spend her final months.
Sally is the ultimate back-to-the-land pioneer, building her own adobe house–while pregnant–in time to give birth there. Now her daughter Dulcie is returning to the ranch to raise her own children there. But will they be able to resist the tug of the wider world?
Bjorn has lived at the ranch of nearly 40 years. Now over 80 years old, he struggles with declining health and wonders whether the next generation will be able to sustain the community into the future.
The hippie counterculture of southern Arizona and New Mexico is a fluid network of artists, organic gardeners and farmers, food coops, community organizers, educators and activists, musicians and dancers, massage therapists and many others, connected by a shared vision of social justice, communitarianism and sustainability which stands in stark contrast to the consumerist values of mainstream corporate America. At the same time, many countercultural innovations have seeped into mainstream culture, from organic produce and free range eggs in chain grocery stores to yoga, meditation, acupuncture and massage, environmental awareness, peace and border rights activism, cooperative business structures, and much more.
Fifty years after the Summer of Love, the don’t-trust-anyone-over-30 generation now dotes on their grandchildren, and faces the challenges of advancing age. The elders profiled in the film continue to defy convention as they pursue communal alternatives to commercial retirement facilities and nursing homes.
Despite their many contributions, and the enduring energy and idealism of so many hippie elders, the word “hippie” remains an epithet, and cartoonish stereotypes prevail. HIPPIE FAMILY VALUES tells a different story, and reclaims this little-known history.