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Marshal South & Family

The
Ghost Mountain
Experiment

A Film About the Original Hippie Family

  • Unprecedented insight into the lives of the family who boldly left society behind in hopes of forming a true connection with nature.
    ~New York Times, All Movie Guide
  • A compelling mix of archival materials and colorful interviews.
    ~Variety
  • A fascinating story with beautiful images and intriguing personalities … about the dream of a ‘return to nature’ and just how complicated that can be.
    ~Jonathan Spaulding, Executive Director of the Museum of the American West
  • A stunningly photographed documentary.
    ~San Jose MetroActive
  • Shrewd and visually beautiful.
    ~Metro Santa Cruz
  • A mighty impressive piece of work.
    ~William Deverell, Director of Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West
  • What a great and weird story... it hits you like a ton of bricks.
    ~Phillip Deloria, author of Playing Indian & Professor of History, University of Michigan
  • Lyrical and poignant.
    ~Duane Elgin, author of the best-selling book Voluntary Simplicity

Meet the South Family

The counter-culture revolutionaries of the late 1960s protested against everything that was part of the “establishment,” from consumerism to the Vietnam war. The hippes sought self-sufficiency, living off the land, doing your own thing, and being as naked and natural as the land itself.

But decades earlier there was Marshal South.

In 1930 this eccentric artist and author and his wife Tanya fled civilization in pursuit of a simple back-to-nature lifestyle. For seventeen years they lived on a remote, waterless mountaintop in the California desert and raised three children. Marshal’s monthly articles and Tanya’s poetry in Desert Magazine chronicled life in the arid paradise for a growing national audience. The family survived the Great Depression and World War II, but isolation and betrayal eventually took their toll.

Ghost Mountain Trailer

Film Festival Awards

  • Telluride MountainFilm
  • Cinequest Film Festival
  • Trento Film Festival
  • Rome Gaia Film Festival
  • Big Sky Film Festival
  • Las Vegas Int’l Film Festival
  • Sedona Int’l Film Festival
  • Washington, DC Environmental Festival

The Desert! If you hate it, you will fly from it and never wish to see its face again. If you love it, it will hold you and draw you as will no other land on earth. ~Marshal South