Drop City (Seventh Art Releasing, NR)

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The openhearted community of Drop City shared everything, from cars and money to land; there was no “yours” or “mine.”



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Located near a piece of land by Trinidad, Colo., comes the heartwarming story of Drop City, the free-spirited community full of artists, writers, inventors, and activists who were called Droppers. This extraordinary place quickly gained lots of international attention, which led to overcrowding. In 1973, it became the world’s first geodesic ghost town. The innovative, magical place was indeed very special and is now recognized as the first rural commune of the 1960s.

This 82-minute documentary, directed and edited by Joan Grossman (her first feature), brings a firsthand perspective on this specific American culture. Watching this historical film full of black-and-white archival footage, interesting collages of stills, and many interviews by the original artists gave me a new understanding of what went on over there in the 1960s. For example, I did not know of the term “drop art,” which was coined by these free spirits who lived with the “life-as-art” vision, trying to block out the whole wasteful, materialistic, war society of the world back then (and also kind of now). The openhearted community of Drop City shared everything, from cars and money to land; there was no “yours” or “mine.” They would teach each other new ways and help one another being as selfless as possible—what was, I would say, almost the opposite of what people are like now.

The whole idea of Drop City was to bring people together. Using drugs (dropping LSD) would inspire them with their artistic creations, but they were very peaceful people, living in their hippie-like world. Known for living “green lives” in modern-day terms, they soon had visitors from all over the world. Money slowly began infiltrating their society, which started bringing “mainstream” into their do-it-yourself community, and that eventually led numerous Droppers to leave their treasured home. The place became a corrupted mess very quickly and the city was abandoned, breaking most of the friendships that built it. It is still remembered as a breath of fresh air by the people who lived in Colorado. While the peaceful, happy tribe was definitely unusual, it is still considered one of the best experiences of their lives by the people who contributed.

Not only is this documentary something new, but the cute little animations done by Michael Kruegar and the music by Julia Crowe and Adam Rudolph bring a pleasant, peaceful feel to the fascinating flow of fresh information. | Lea Vrábelová

Drop City shows at the Webster Film Series at 7:30 p.m. June 5 through June 10. For more information, visit webster.edu/filmseries or call 314-968-7487.

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