By Tami Sawyer
Back to the Garden started off the last day of screenings at the Fifth Annual Ellensburg Film Festival on Sunday, October 4, 2009. All weekend there was a building buzz throughout moviegoers surrounding the film, which received the Best of Washington award at the festival’s Opening Gala and Award Ceremony on Monday, October 2, 2009. A packed house turned up to embrace the film and participate in a very active question and answer session following the screening with director Kevin Tomlinson, producer Judy Kaplan as well as several of the documentaries featured subjects that were in attendance to answer audience members queries.
This documentary covers an almost forty year span regarding the lives of a group of back-to-the-land movement “hippies” in Tonasket, a small town in Eastern Washington. The film follows the path each of their lives have taken over the years and their search for environmental utopias. Self sufficient, communal lifestyles and gatherings along with their peace and love attitude provide an intriguing yet strong socio-economic and environmental awareness to the big screen, as do many of the documentaries at this year’s festival, during today’s current green movement to protect the earth for future generations.