Free Spirits (2007)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Religions & Belief Systems  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - United States  |  
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Synopsis by Jason Buchanan

Filmmaker Bruce Geisler explores how a tree house full of aimless teens evolved into one of the largest and most popular communes of the 1970s and '80s in this documentary profile of high-school/Hell's Angels dropout Michael Metelica and the Brotherhood of the Spirit/Renaissance Community. On the surface Metelica may have looked like the average, middle-class suburban teen, but those who knew him well realized that he was in fact a budding spiritual leader preparing to launch a bold experiment in spiritual seeking. Based on such "new age" concepts as equality, love, shared labor, and non-materialism, the Brotherhood of the Spirit/Renaissance Community was a utopian retreat that folded Eastern religion and consciousness-raising mysticism into good old yankee work ethic to surprising results. The commune would continue to grow and expand throughout the 1970s, eventually boasting 400 members, holding real estate in four Massachusetts towns, acquiring a Rolls Royce and an airplane, establishing a rock band called Spirit in the Flesh, and clearing one million dollars a year. For some, life in the Brotherhood was the perfect representation of heaven on Earth, and for others it was a living hell. Now, following profiles on such television programs as Merv Griffin, The Tonight Show, and 60 Minutes and in such respected print publications as Look Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and Family Circle, the story of the Brotherhood of the Spirit/Renaissance Community emerges in greater detail than ever before.

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Keywords

brotherhood, commune, community, spiritual-leader, spirituality