The Source

The Source Family

Editor’s note: The Source Family is now in limited release, so go ahead and get hip to Kate’s SXSW review of the film, originally published on March 14, 2012. While some people might chuckle at being informed that they are a part of a group of “specially chosen people,” there will always be a few that perk up with such words, whose eyes go wide, and who are eager to get on board with like-minded people. You know, like cult members. Co-directors Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos chronicle just such a cult and just such a people in The Source Family, a documentary about the group of people known as the Source Family who, thanks to their leader Jim Baker, “transformed sex, drugs, and rock n roll” into a genuine movement (at least in their eyes). The film documents Baker and the Source’s rise to (relative) power and prominence in seventies-era Los Angeles. Baker got his roots in the city through his profession as a restaurateur and, after opening a number of eateries; he finally came up with The Source Restaurant – one of the first health food restaurants in the country. Baker’s restaurant served as ground zero for health nuts, wayward children, and movie stars and, combined with Baker’s well-known charisma, it was the perfect breeding ground for a cult with a readymade leader.

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Documentaries done right serve a number of purposes for cinephiles – to educate, to inspire, to reflect, to synthesize – but my favorite brand of documentary has always been the kind that chronicles a people and a lifestyle that are diametrically opposed to the sort of person I am and the lifestyle I lead. And thus, enter The Source, which looks to fit perfectly into my preferred type of doc. World premiering at SXSW, Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos’s film chronicles “The Source Family,” an “Aquarian tribe” that embodied just about everything people think of when they think of hippies, the 70s, and what it meant to be groovy. The Family was “a radical experiment in ’70s utopian living. Their outlandish lifestyle, popular health food restaurant, rock band, and beautiful women made them the darlings of Hollywood’s Sunset Strip; but their outsider ideals and spiritual leader, Father Yod, caused controversy with local authorities.” You read that right – they weren’t just a group of young beauties – they also crafted their own cottage industries. But what happened to Father Yod and his Family? You’ll just have to find out. After the break, get an embrace from Father Yod himself with the full poster for The Source.

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The title of this post is pretty self explanatory, so no introduction is really needed here. But… I do feel compelled to point out the same thing I point out every year. Nailing foreign releases down to a particular year isn’t an exact science. Obviously every film has an actual date of initial release, but most foreign titles don’t hit our shores until the following year, if at all. I try to go by original release date whenever possible though which means some of my choices have yet to be screened in the US outside of film festivals and import DVDs. That said, here’s a list of my eleven favorite foreign films for 2011 in alphabetical order. (Be sure to check out my lists from 2010, 2009 and 2008 too.) And because I know someone will ask, yes, I did see Certified Copy.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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