The social upheavals of the 1960s and ’70s were fueled by a potent blend of sex, drugs and rock and roll, but only a few select groups elevated that combination to a religion. The Source Family, a documentary directed by Maria Demopoulos, reveals one such group and spotlights one of the strangest, most fascinating pieces of American history you’ve never heard of.
“A lot of people just know about the cults that did bad stuff — Jim Jones, the Manson Family,” Demopoulos explains. “The Source Family is almost like a utopian group. They were really just trying to do something different.” Led by the charismatic Father Yod (aka Jim Baker), the Family ran a successful health-food restaurant, a revolutionary psych band and a unique social experiment in communal living, all while rubbing elbows with the Hollywood elite of the day. Original footage shot by Family members themselves is paired with interviews with those who were there, both inside and outside the Family, to tell a riveting story that proves once and for all that truth really is stranger than fiction.
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The Source Family opens for a week-long run tonight at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. Tickets are $8 to $10, or $7 for Denver Film Society members. For more information, including showtimes, visit denverfilm.org.
Fri., May 31, 2013