The tag line on the poster for this fascinating documentary is "God Has a Rock Band," a reference to the fact that members of the Source Family, a quasi-religious cult from the late '60s through the '70s, supposedly recorded enough whacked-out psychedelia to fill 65 albums. The core of the film, though, is the relationship that Source acolytes had with their figurehead, Father Yod (known before he started experimenting with drugs and religion as James Baker). Through interviews with former lovers and followers of Yod, directors Maria Demopoulos and Jodi Wille create a strange and compelling portrait, moving from his days as a WWII hero to his open combination of what he saw as the best parts of numerous spiritual practices into an uber-doctrine. Like L. Ron Hubbard (or Lancaster Dodd in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master), Yod made it up as he went along, including an embrace of polygamy that frayed the connection he had with several followers. The Source Family provides a clearer sense of how rootless so many children of the Vietnam era were and how, in their search for a father figure, they wound up under the sway of so-called gurus and swamis. That so many emerged from these experiences in one piece is the real miracle.
- Running Time:
- Release Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2013
- Critic's Score: A
- Watch the trailer