The Source Family, documentary about 1970s Los Angeles freak cult/commune

The Source Family, a magnificent documentary by my friend Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos, will see nationwide distribution this spring, starting with a May 1 premier at the IFC Center in New York City. The film tells the story of Father Yod and his Source Family, a radical, utopian social experiment that emerged from the Los Angeles freak scene in the 1970s. Boing Boing is delighted to premier the trailer above. Far fucking out.

YoddddThe Source Family’s outlandish lifestyle, popular celebrity hangout restaurant, rock band, and beautiful women made them the darlings of Hollywood’s Sunset Strip; but their outsider ideals, controversial spiritual leader Father Yod, along with his 13 wives, instigated local authorities. They fled to Hawaii, leading to their dramatic demise. Years later, family members surface and the rock band reforms, revealing how their time with Father Yod shaped their lives in the most unexpected ways. These personal accounts, along with interviews with outsiders, make up the interviews in the film. However, the story is largely cinematic, expressed through the use of the group’s extensive film and audio archive maintained by Isis Aquarian, one of Father's wives, Family documentarian, and a central character in the documentary (as well as being associate producer). The film’s soundtrack is composed entirely of original Source Family music produced from 1971-1975.

The film was inspired by The Source: The Story of Father Yod, Ya Ho Wa 13 and the Source Family, a fantastic 2007 book written by family members Isis Aquarian and Electricity Aquarian, edited by Jodi Wille, and published by our pals Process Media.

The Source Family: A Documentary


  1. Holy cats… I didn’t realize it, but these folks used to come to our library several years ago.

  2. I guess the guy looked like a genius as long as his health food place was raking in money on Sunset Strip.  Was he guided to Maui by a vision or something?  Did he have any idea how small Maui is or how completely unimpressed the residents would be with his Hollywood guru shtick?  It would have worked today, because he’d probably get Oprah and Richard Gere to hang out there.

  3. Father Yod lead a band called Ya Ho Wa 13. Their album ‘Penetration – An Aquarium Symphony’ is highly recommended if you’re into drug-induced, experimental, meditative psychedelica.

  4. family members Isis Aquarian and Electricity Aquarian

    Dave Barry, or even the Firesign Theater, would have trouble making this up.

  5. I spent a while wondering if I understood the correct usage of the word ‘instigated’, but I see that has now changed the phrase to ” caused controversy with local authorities.” Phew.

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