When high school & Hell's Angels drop-out Michael Metelica and eight hungry teenaged friends retreated to a rural Massachusetts treehouse in 1968, they never imagined it would grow into one of the largest, most controversial communes/utopian communities of its era.
Genre: Feature-length Documentary
Country of Origin: USA
Running Time: 98 minutes
Medium: Digital Video
CAST & CREW
Director: Bruce Geisler
Producer: Bruce Geisler & Don Fizzinoglia
Associate Producer: Adrian d'Errico & Page Ostrow
Cast: Michael Metelica Rapunzel, Dan Brown, Elwood Babbitt, Ann Baker, Beth Hapgood, Steven Heimoff, Laurel Lussen, Vaughn Bunny Healy, Rob Hincks, Dale Sluter, James Baker, Debbie Edson, May Ristich, Melvin Weiner, Ron Sellers, Steven Wilhelm, Marty Liebmann, Donna Liebmann, Doug Edson, Christopher Garland, Jason Garland, Wendy Crowell, Joel Taunton, Swan Keyes
Writer: Bruce Geisler
Producer's Representative: Ostrow and Company
“I was totally unprepared for the amazing impact Free Spirits had on me. It makes history come alive in a very immediate, very emotional way. You have to see this
film!” -- David Lenson, Editor, The Massachusetts Review
“Free Spirits” is a labor of love, but also a work of high craftsmanship. You don’t have to know the story to be drawn in by the engrossing story-telling.” -- Stephen Morris, Editor, The Green Living Journal
“Michael Metelica is a fascinating figure, part heavy metal biker, part backwoods mystic. The film is honest and compelling, well worth the price of admission.” -- Andrew Varnon, The Valley Advocate
“Free Spirits is an amazing window to a lost world, infiltrating the lives and minds of participants in an actual hippie commune. Director Geisler has incredible material to work from - the viewer finds the film fascinating.” -- John E. Mitchell, Arts and Entertainment Editor, The North Adams Transcript
At its peak, it boasted 400 full-time members, real estate in four towns, an airplane, national rock band, and a million dollar a year income. Many stayed a decade or longer, committing their youth, sweat, and worldly possessions to creating an example of brotherhood they hoped would serve as a model for the entire world. They captured the attention of 60 Minutes, People Magazine, Look Magazine, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Family Circle, and countless other media.
For some, the time there was the highlight of their lives, filled with humor, danger, intense personal growth, and daily absurdity. For others, it was a long nightmare.
Their story reflected a generation, as they survived the intense hostility of the towns aroud them - fire-bombings, the brutal murder of a member - only to fall because of internal forces, including the changes in their flamboyant founder and leader, Michael Metelica Rapunzel.