THE END OF THE ROAD
“When you’re at the end of your line you come to Lund.”
Picture your life, raised in the 1950’s USA with it’s wholesomely deceptive family values derailed by a war where you’re coerced to kill your brothers in humanity on the other side of this planet you call home. What would it take to leave it all behind? These ostracized, politicized, revolutionized, motivated individuals joined other freedom seekers looking for a new way of life and headed for Canada. They took the road till it ended in, Lund, BC.
“The notion of ecological survival was surprisingly deep at that time as an alternative to the way of life that we felt was really coming to an end.”
The climate issues troubling the consciences of people today were already heavy on the hearts and minds of those who moved “back to the land” back in the 1960’s and 70’s. So many of the notions of social justice we see today were just being seeded and taking root then. Fresh ideas, career risks and spiritual expansion were the new frontiers that were being explored along with the physical realities of this “Garden of Eden”. Like the cast of the reality show “Survivor” this cast of characters were ill equipped to deal with their adopted environment. Their only survival guide being a tome called “Little House on the Prairie” they relied on savvy locals to help navigate the unending adventure of pioneer-ism. The challenges of building your own shelter, heating said shelter, who to house in your shelter and growing your own food really put the sustain in sustainability. Interviewee, Ronnie Uhlmann explains “When I told my grandmother that we had no electricity or indoor plumbing she said, ‘But darlink, that’s vye ve left Russia!’ ”.
"They wanted to be part of the 'back to the land', ‘flower child' movement, eh. They had no clue. These were city kids.”
This new life was not only a physical challenge it was a challenge to the idealism, romanticism, and modern day values they imported with them. How do you build a house while still wanting to save the trees? How do you raise livestock without defending to the death against local bears and cougars? How do you rationalize your “back to the land” existence while getting a job at the local pulp and paper mill? How do you maintain your place in woman’s liberation while staying home doing “woman’s” work and falling into the ‘traditional’ gender roles most feminists were trying to escape.
“The most confusing day in Lund is Father’s Day!”
Not only did they build their own houses and gardens but they built their own relationships (lot’s of them) and the result was a community that felt more like a family. In a small community where the pool of potential mates and lovers was small, love was often shared. It was not uncommon to go to a wedding and have the couple's ex’s be there with their new loves all celebrating together.
“Why did they have to chose today of all days to empty the outhouse, NAKED! The one day my town friends come over to organize my run for student council.”
From the group surrounding a home-birthed baby to the group bringing up teenagers and offering to be part of their first smoking pot experience, hippy parents challenged conformity and like all parents embarrassed their children. Alternative parenting in full effect the children of hippies were given a voice to bring judgement or validation to their parent’s choices and actions.
“Like, if I had to do it now I’d say you’re crazy.”
With a stash of 16mm, Super 8 film and archival still photos shot by the hippies themselves this is a reality film on multiple levels. Combined with cutting edge editorial and animation techniques this film lays out the pieces of the puzzle then constructs it right before your eyes. The End of the Road, will take you on a ride through political upheaval, drug tales, love fails, challenging the norm and creating utopia, to an ultimate integration and transformation of a small mill town. These are stories from those who couldn’t hack it and headed back south of the border and those who stayed, those we’ve lost and their offspring returning home. With another layer of reality the film is scored by music being made both then and now. Like the subjects themselves, this film will be unconventional, pushing visual boundaries and searching for a home in everyone who watches it.