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During the social upheaval of the early 1970s, utopian communities dotted the American landscape. They aimed to reshape the world with "free love" and common property, and they excited controversy and fear amongst local residents across the country. Premised on the idea of "Free Land for Free People," and financed by the largesse of Hollywood celebrities, the founders of Black Bear bought land deep in the wilderness and raised a rough-hewn homestead. Over the years, hundreds would join the community, and life would be complicated by conflicts about the role of women,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Commune channels a bygone era of drop-outs living an American dream on the Free Love frontier. This is the happy alternative to the apocalyptic California sub-cultures of Charles Manson and the Rev. Jim Jones."
‑ Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times
"Fitfully interesting, but would have benefited from tighter focus and finer detail."
‑ Michael Ordoņa, Los Angeles Times
"Kinda down-to-earth comments make Commune kinda intriguing."
‑ Frank Lovece, Film Journal International
"If not a social history of the '60s, it's a close examination of a quintessential '60s phenomenon that speaks volumes about the attitudes and experiences that shaped the decade."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Watching Jonathan Berman's affectionate documentary, Commune, about the influential establishment in Siskiyou County, brought to mind the recent documentary Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple."
‑ G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
"It's good to hear people talking about openheartedness without irony."
‑ F.X. Feeney, L.A. Weekly
"Examines what life was like at an idealized, hippie oasis back in the Sixties. Not exactly groovy, or anybody's idea of nirvana, dude."
‑ Kam Williams, Upstage Magazine
"The documentary is loose-limbed and not at all artful--which is to say, it's scarcely bourgeois and just as the Black Bear Ranch people would like it."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
"Commune gets at the central, seductive paradoxes inherent in so much counterculture belief and practice."
‑ Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"It's fascinating to see how the Black Bears got onto their current path, but we don't see enough of the journey."
‑ Noel Murray, AV Club
"An intriguing, entertaining and engaging documentary. My only criticism -- I simply wanted to know so much more."
‑ Ross Anthony, Hollywood Report Card
"What is fascinating about Berman's Commune is how well it captures the passage of time and the life lessons learned from the commune experience."
‑ Jonathan W. Hickman, Entertainment Insiders
More reviews for Commune on Rotten Tomatoes