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'The Source'

Daily reviews and interviews

Reviewed by Nora Ankrum, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW Film

The Source

Documentary Feature Competition
D: Jodi Wille, Maria Demopoulos

    Jim Baker – aka "Father Yod," leader of the Source Family commune cum cult – didn't have to convince people he was God. As the "ultimate guru father figure," he simply was. One devotee believed she saw lightning coming out of Baker's ears. Another kissed his feet at first sight. How did Baker respond? "Far fuckin' out," he said. At the height of the free-love era, Baker inspired a gaggle of beautiful, young, white-robe-clad followers to change their names to things like "Orbit" and "Electra" and live together in what – briefly, anyway – was a utopian dream come true. This documentary retraces Baker's steps from man to God and back again, using an incredible trove of photos and recordings (along with clips from Annie Hall and Saturday Night Live parodying Baker's popular L.A. health-food restaurant, where the cult followers worked). Meanwhile, interviews with former Source members provide a surreal – and sometimes painfully wide-eyed – glimpse at that moment in history before irony killed the hippie.


Friday, March 16, 6:45pm, Alamo Lamar

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