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The Source Family 2013

NR CC
4.2 out of 5 stars (78) IMDb 6.9/10

The Source Family's outlandish lifestyle made them the darlings of Hollywood; but their outsider ideals and spiritual leader, Father Yod, caused controversy with local authorities.

Starring:
Ahom Aquarian, Isis Aquarian
Runtime:
1 hour, 39 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Music, Documentary
Director Maria Demopoulos, Jodi Wille
Starring Ahom Aquarian, Isis Aquarian
Supporting actors Elena Michaels, Father Yod
Studio Gravitas Ventures
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I'd never heard of The Source Family until about a year ago when I saw Djin Aquarian play at a show in LA. After the show, a friend of mine filled me in on The Source Family and Father Yod. I didn't know too much more until I watched this documentary today. It's an incredible snapshot in time (1970s Los Angeles) and an extraordinary look into the history of Father Yod and the Source Family. An extremely well composed documentary explaining the evolution of this family using original archival footage, interspersed with interviews of the original members commenting on their time with the family. You're taken on an amazing journey, from the well-meaning spiritual beginnings of Father Yod and the Source Family, to the overblown ego-driven antics of it's leader. It's amazing to hear the stories of the followers of Father Yod and the impact, both constructive and destructive, he had on these people's lives. Ironically, there are many parallels between Father Yod and Jim Jones. It's a testament to the adage, that although you may start with the best of intentions, ultimately, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is exemplified by the fact that he eventually has his followers calling him Yahowha (God). There are many reasons to watch this fascinating documentary, but most compelling is that you're immersed in this incredible counter culture, which is presented in such a clear, concise and non-biased way, that you are completely absorbed in the subject matter. It's a definite must see.
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I came across this material by one of those strange, synchronistic “coincidences” which feel like they are not coincidences at all.

Some time ago, I had a girlfriend who had been involved with Yogi Bhajan’s 3HO and another offshoot group which ran a restaurant in Los Angeles, and whose leader, “Father,” had died in a hang gliding accident in Hawaii. I didn’t know much more about the group, other than a few of the names of those involved, and never gave it much thought, given the number of communes which sprang up in the 60s (I know other people from various groups from those days).

I haven’t had much occasion to think about this for some time, as I lost touch with her many, many years ago.

Then, the other day, I just happened to be looking up the Yogi’s name to make sure I got the spelling right on a quote. My eye was drawn to the list of his famous students and a certain Father Yod jumped out at me from the list. I suddenly was struck by the thought that this might be the person my friend had mentioned. Boy, howdy, was I right.

I immediately ordered this DVD and a few books to add to the information on the web, and to see if I could find any pictures of her with the group or stories involving her. It was a real trip down memory lane, for while there was no mention of her, in the book I did find others she had mentioned, including the father of her child. (I will do a review of the book as well.)

The DVD is a documentary by former members of the group, as are the books, and they reveal more details about the history and evolution of the Source Family during its short existence.
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The problem with this documentary is that it doesn't seem objective enough in my opinion. I am very interested in documentaries about cults, as I was sucked into one a few years ago and luckily escaped! I found this documentary to be very interesting, but not super entertaining. There were also some random interviews of people that really had no credibility talking about this subject... Overall it was interesting, but it seemed to all be too friendly towards this cult. Anyways, just my opinion, I still paid and watched it ;)
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The movie was quite interesting and informative. It nicely captured the cultural spirit of California in the 1960s. However, at times the movie seemed to trivialize and downplay that the Source Family was essentially a cult. The film hints at some of the ambivalence former cult members felt at various times but it would have been nice if the movie had dug a little deeper.
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I really liked this documentary. It was very well written and put together. I'm a huge fan of documentaries, but most of them are cheap, poorly edited, and/or cheesy. This one was none of those. (A few of the people were borderline cheesy, but that's just the way those people are.) I like that there were no actors but instead were the exactly people involved. All of the action scenes are actual footage and not re-dramatizations. I highly recommend it.
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Interesting topic and a big flashback to the culture of the 60s and 70s in California. It is, however, not presented objectively in any way. It primarily serves to show the adoration of a handful of members of the Source who completely bought into a cult leader and still do. This in and of itself is interesting - that after several decades they could still revere a man who committed many abuses against members. To an unbiased viewer he comes across pretty much as the mad man that he is. A man who, like many cult leaders, gets so carried away with his own power that one of his final acts include denouncing monogamy and collecting a group of the prettiest youngest members to have sex with and serve him on a compound in Hawaii. It's important to balance the movie out by reading the many accounts of people who felt their lives were destroyed by him. What the film does well is show an amazing amount of footage taken during this era. Also loved that the residents of Hawaii saw right through him and felt he degraded their spiritual land.
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