Sunshine Coast Daily

Hippies to take over Film Festival

WHERE have all the flower children gone?

In the Byron Bay hinterland and around Nimbin we have healthy remnants of hippie culture, so a documentary to be screened at the Byron Bay Film Festival this weekend should attract strong local interest.

In 1988 American film-maker Kevin Tomlinson attended a ‘Healing Gathering’ in rural Washington State, 20 years after Woodstock.

“I felt transported,” Tomlinson said, “finding myself among magic buses and tepees in a meadow filled with beaded flower children communing with nature.”

The film-maker shot hours of dan- cing, drumming, singing and celebration, but more importantly, tracked those people down again 18 years later to see what course their lives had taken.

He was interested to see what had become of their searching for environmental utopia while living out their 1960s ideals.

The result is a fascinating documentary called Back to the Garden, Flower Power Comes Full Circle.

One of the things Tomlinson found was that these aging back-to-the-land hippies and their tribal families had been insulated from the ups and downs of the global economy and were generally still living an alternative lifestyle.

He sees a close link between the values of today’s Green movement and the film participants’ emphasis on sustainability, simplicity and community.

Back to the Garden will screen at the Byron Bay Film Festival on Saturday at 11.45am and the film-maker will be at the screening.

• Mount St Elias. This dramatic and awe-inspiring documentary follows three great skiers in their attempt to achieve the longest ski descent in the world. This full-length documentary feature is set against the spectacular backdrop of Alaska’s Mount St Elias. Screening as part of session 14, beginning today at 10am. Cost $6.50.

• Tibet In Song. Brave Tibetans speak out for the first time about how Chinese policies since the takeover of Tibet in 1959 have attempted to destroy Tibetan culture and identity. The film-maker, a former political prisoner, explores these themes through Tibetan folk music. This documentary won a Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and is screening as part of session 17 at 7.30pm. Cost $6.50

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