A personal documentary about a naive aspiring actor who rents a shed on a fading ex-commune in Los Angeles and becomes friends with its aging matriarch, a former hippie, who is slowly becoming radicalized by far-right conspiracy propaganda in 2016.

Director’s Vision

While experiencing Margie’s relentless campaign to convert me to far-right conspiracy ideologies, I saw first-hand how someone could slip into that mind-frame under the right circumstances, no matter what background they come from. I witnessed how dangerous the combination of isolation, personal trauma, and the internet can be for someone’s mind; how people harboring a great pain or resentment find that conspiracy thinking offers an explanation and a renewed sense of purpose. Since I lived on this ex-commune 5 years ago, I’ve seen these viewpoints spread farther than I could have ever imagined and transform into the QAnon movement, anti-vaccine activism, and the insurrection at the capitol.

At the center of this film is a strange friendship, many of us have faced the bizarre burden of our loved ones slipping into this way of thinking. I wanted to showcase the complicated dynamic of dealing with that situation, especially when their evangelism turns towards you. I felt that the burden for me as a filmmaker in this story was to honestly capture Margie while not presenting her unwellness in an exploitative way. I learned that the way to do this was by committing to understand the humanity behind her delusions, without judging her or corroborating her beliefs. Facing these challenges reinforced for me what I believe is the point of making films: to ease the isolation of my fellow persons by creating windows through which we can see each other.