Director Kevin Tomlinson was out for a road trip in Eastern Washington State in the late 1980s and discovered a healing gathering (this is mostly a bunch of people singing and dancing in a field). He was impressed that, even though the counterculture was a bit passé, they were sticking to their ideals about love and commitment to the earth. He filmed some interviews and filed the footage away. Twenty years later he decided to look up the old characters, people with names like Skeeter and OnePine and the result is the documentary Back to the Garden, Flower Power Comes Full Circle. He found that these idealists were still walking the walk, living in isolated communities in rural Washington, many of them living self-sufficiently through farming and off the grid with solar energy.
It might not be a super original idea, but the film is inspiring and with the perspective of a few decades, the back-to-the-landers are both sincere and funny. There have been trade-offs for all of them but they are happy with their chosen paths.
Back to the Garden played with a shorter film called Save the Farm about a 13 acre community garden in South Central Los Angeles. At this farm, poor families grew their own organic food and taught their children about plants and herbs. The city sold the land below market value and eventually the farm was destroyed. It’s sad, but maybe there is still hope.
No more screenings for these films.