The Edge of Paradise

REVIEWS and COMMENTS

“Thank you so much for giving me back the very best experiences of my life

and allowing me to share the magic of that time and place with the world.

You have blessed us with the most wonderful gift.”

-- Francine Pearson (Taylor Camper)

Taylor Camp is the ultimate hippie fantasy retold three decades

later in a moving and magical documentary. Don’t miss it!”

-- Steven Petrow, The Huffington Post


Taylor Camp is terrific. You know a film is going to bring you somewhere special when

it opens with "In a Gadda Da Vida" then takes you on a visual and musical journey

to a magical place in time that so many of us still long for. I didn't want it to end.”

-- Blaise Noto, Unit Publicist, The Kite Runner


“I LOVED Taylor Camp! Beautifully made and vividly told, the story is balanced and without

sentimentality. The good, the bad and the ugly. But the idealism shone through very brightly.”

-- Michael Singer, Author of Film Directors: A Complete Guide


“Deeply personal, Taylor Camp documents a time and place on Kauai that some reviled,

some adored. The film itself is naked, taking on the dark side of Taylor Camp as well as the sweet

memories of golden days, great surf and good friends.” -- Lee Cataluna, Honolulu Advertiser


“Impressive! A real time capsule of an era and a place - humane and atmospheric - and news to most people.

I love the Before and After faces and bodies, and the theme of violated Eden, or After the Fall...”

-- Paul Theroux, Author of Great Railway Bazaar, Mosquito Coast, & many others


“A cinema masterpiece, Taylor Camp chronicles a time, like now, mired in an unpopular war. It’s

a living document of an extraordinary social experiment and the age-old clash between generations.

This film will stay with you long after you leave the theater.” -- Paul Janes-Brown, Maui Weekly


Taylor Camp is an amazing true story about a group of people that lived life without a care in

the world. The cinematography is breathtaking. It will leave you smiling and dreaming.”

-- Jacob Liberman, Author of Light: Medicine of the Future


“John Wehrheim's and Robert C. Stone's film TAYLOR CAMP is a powerful and revelatory work of nonfiction. I say this as a veteran documentary filmmaker who can appreciate the film's craft, as someone who loves Hawaii and have made films there myself, and as a member of the generation profiled by this fascinating portrait. For years, I've been disappointed by nearly every effort to portray the counterculture I knew in the late 1960s and early 1970s. From HAIR to ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, these efforts have nearly always oversimplified and sentimentalized the era, turning ideals into slogans, culture into commerce, and individuals into cartoons. Yes, MONTERREY POP and WOODSTOCK offered pivotal samplings of songs that helped drive our generation into music clubs, rock festivals, protest marches, and communal living situations. But before TAYLOR CAMP, no previous film, play or TV show I've seen has fully captured the way people I knew looked, and talked, and dressed, and acted during that turbulent period. Through thirty-year-old photos, some previously unseen film footage, and a fresh round of interviews, Mr. Wehrheim and Mr. Stone not only tell us the fascinating story of a pioneering group of 'hippies, surfers and troubled Vietnam Vets on the Island of Kaua`i from 1969 through 1977, but also show what it meant to be young and passionate at that time, to experiment with new ideas and lifestyles, and even to try living apart from a society that no longer reflected the dreams and beliefs of its youth. Sometimes, to see and understand the larger picture, you simply need to focus in tight on a handful of people and situations that manage to represent what was happening in many other places. That's what these talented filmmakers have done, and to brilliant effect.”

-- Robert Mugge, Ball State University

*****

A story about a jungle tribe of kids living on the beach at the "end of the rainbow" - Hanalei, Kaua'i, circa 1969-77, it was one of the most moving films I've seen in a loooog time. The great photography, the great music, and the great story, knocked it out of the ballpark; a film that will stay with you for days! I LOVE THIS FILM!!! --Hulagirl

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I have been waiting an entire year to see the film and it was so worth it! Mahalo! --Devany Vickery-Davidson

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Taylor Camp is the best documentary I’ve seen. I was touched by the “then” in still photographs and the “now” in recent interviews. I laughed and cried. What more can a person want? I wanted it to go on and on! --Liz W

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Taylor Camp captured the very ‘essence’ of a subculture in survival mode of that time. I know, because I lived at Taylor Camp. I do believe it will become a ‘cult film’. --Jeannie MacGregor, Ontario Canada

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Taylor Camp beautifully captures the freedom and simplicity of the era with breathtaking photography and a retrospective look at the people who were lucky enough to be a part of it. Well done! --NANCY

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Saw it in Princeville last night.... awesome film! This movie should win an award! --Lee Witmer

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Thanks! Just a note to say how lucky my partner and I were to stumble upon a showing of Taylor Camp in Hilo. It was our last night on the island before flying back home to the mainland in the morning and we were looking for something to do with our evening after having an Italian meal at a restaurant up the street from the theater. This film is fascinating and really took me back to a time in my life when it did indeed seem that anything was possible. I was never a resident but like to think that I might have been had life led me in that direction. We bought a copy of the film and showed it to our baby-boomer polyamory community here in the Washington, DC area - everyone was touched and nostalgic about what life was like during that time. (Yeah, some of us really do identify as utopian polyamorists.) --Anita Wagner

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It was beyond Great! It is absolutely a must to see no matter where your Art Heart is... --Bob Measel, Jr.

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I finally saw the Movie last night... there were tears in my eyes for most of it. They came from the sweet memories- Joy that we had that and sadness that it no longer exists... except in our hearts and memories. Plus, that's the Hanalei/Haena that I remember... from the 70s, so sleepy and quiet and rural. Before the crowds came. The Kauai Island Paradise... I remember. --Lani Wright

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The movie brought me back to a time that I had almost forgotten ... the yearning to be closer to nature and at peace with the world; where the pursuit of the almighty dollar was frowned upon; where just being was key". --xoxo Kathy C.

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Compelling. Engaging. A thoughtful and thought-provoking trip back to a time of deep social conflict. The microcosm of society depicted in this doc goes beyond sentimentality for the hippy era - it reflects the loss of innocence and in so many ways reveals the origins of the ME generation and the beginnings of extended adolescence in NA society. --Janine Sharp

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Just saw Taylor Camp. I'm still aglow. You worked magic! A contact high! People were floating out of the theater. Yes, something indeed was happening back in the day, on Kauai, and the world around. The feeling I got from the audience tells me that those seeds are still viable in many hearts. Great job! --Peter Kafka

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I LOVE THIS FILM AND I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE IT AGAIN! I live in an intentional community in LA and have been to Kalalau -- if only I could bring my tribe to that amazing place, we would be in heaven. I am envious of everyone who was lucky enough to experience Taylor Camp. --Rachael Yukimura, Los Angeles

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I thought this might be nice but didn't realize how emotionally charged and how positive it would be—a fascinating picture of a lost era. --Kathryn Craig

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A transcendent look into another time and place. An idealistic hippie treehouse heaven juxtaposed with the brutality of the Vietnam War makes for a very engaging film. What has been captured here will open your heart to the power and beauty of the human spirit. Beautifully done. --Gary Silver, Hollywood

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A magical place, a magical time and people who were lucky enough to be there for it. Makes me nostalgic for my hippie days, and happy that such an experience is on film for my children and grandchildren to experience. --dharmasurfer

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I was profoundly touched by your tribute to the hippie ethic. You effectively captured the beauty and all that was good about the hippies, as well as providing a balance with presenting their shortcomings. Seeing the film, gave me a clear picture of what life must have been like at Taylor Camp. The nude portraits reduced me to tears. They were simply magnificent. Overall, I felt Taylor Camp was the very best documentary I've seen to date uncovering and celebrating hippie culture. --Abe Perlstein, California

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I watched the video last night! I would love to live like that now! --James Kimo Rosen

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This film will take you back, WAY back, to a time when idealistic young adults and disconnected Viet Nam veterans sought refuge apart from the craziness of war. I liked that the film acts as an observer--showing both the positives and the pitfalls of trying to establish community among individuals with shared goals but not necessarily shared ideas about how those goals might be attained. Lots of black and white photos along with videography and "where are they now" type interviews. A good story - well worth your time. --Pinkadelic

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Beautiful photos, beautiful footage, beautiful people, and beautiful scenery. An interesting and compelling story about a little known community in Hawaii. --Jazz

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We saw Taylor Camp last night and still feel it. A wonderful experience! My eyes teared up in the first minutes - I guess from joy and just being overwhelmed. The whole experience touched the emotions of everyone that saw your film. The film’s direction and pace, the music, it was all amazing and will stay with us forever. Thank you again. --Chris and Javed

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Aloha everyone, I'm from Bhutan and I absolutely loved Taylor Camp. We screened the film in Thimphu, and everyone raved!!!! Great still photos and great love for the beautiful people. Although we are mountain folks, there is a wonderful connection in so many ways. --Sonam Palden

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Beautiful people! Great stories filled with humor and sorrow of personal journeys in a time when young people all over the world created cultural and political turmoil and demanded change. The film presents human to human interaction - the good and the bad - how a group of people tried to create Utopia and survive harmoniously, PLUS much, much more... a definite must see! Sending my best wishes and Aloha from Bhutan. --Thinley Choden

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If you are enthralled with Kauai and Her powerful magic, you'll feel some of what I felt watching this. It made me think, and remember, and laugh, and cry about another time that felt so alive, and what it meant. A time I'd almost forgotten, right on the edge of my memory. This film brought it all back like I was right there again; the power, the beauty, the sadness and the substances that got in the way, or enhanced it, depending on where you stood. About taking an extended vacation from an America that seemed to be marching in lockstep toward military madness.... all kinda familiar all over again, actually.... striking, vibrant, luminous Shakti filled images of a precious time and place between the Berkeley Free Speech movement and the days of Reagan. The Vietnam vets' stories are very relevant to the situation we find ourselves in now with returning vets in need of radical healing. Their stories will touch you to the core and give you hope. And maybe some ideas. Thanks guys! --Liz Randol

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I lived at Taylor Camp from 1974 until 1977. This film captures the very essence of that most wonderful and awe- inspiring experience. I was right there again. This documentary is absolutely mind-boggling. Whether you are old or young, hip or "square" you'll leave the theater believing there is hope for the human race yet. --Zachariah Pearson

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Taylor Camp is an amazing look at an unplanned 'social experiment' that is most astonishing for its success. In the land of celluloid, a diverse group +lots of drugs+ nakedness+ psychological trauma set against a backdrop of the turbulence of the Vietnam era; doesn't usually equal beautiful harmonious experience. How did this happen? Was there a magic ingredient? What went right? What great lessons are there for us now in the fabric of this story? The connection between our time and the Vietnam era are massive and obvious. --Jennifer G.

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There is something so powerful when you are being who you are. To be open is so very difficult!!! I’m touched by the people interviewed for Taylor Camp, their sheer courage in being true to their nature and their shared values of living with compassion. I am from Bhutan and the film reminded me of the yogis and yoginis of the Himalayans, the matt haired sadhus of India, the nyeljorpas and nyeljormas walking freely. We all connect with this feeling of something greater than what meets the eye. The beautiful black and white photos transport the viewer to another time, another place, only that it doesn't feel like another time or another place. Perhaps the soul of the movie is the "PRESENT" and it is felt deeply. --Sonam from Bhutan

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This finely crafted film is a 'must see' for anyone with a personal connection with the counter culture of the 60's. I ran a head shop in the Haight from '66 to '68, I don't know of a more compelling and uplifting portrayal of what was good, decent and wholesome about the hippie movement -- a movement led by people who tried and to some extent succeeded to make the world kinder by making themselves kinder. Bravo! --Baron

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For those of us on Kauai in the 1970s, Taylor Camp is a very clear window into the past - a story of a more peaceful, kinder and gentle place. The film portrays the "coming of age" of many of us and the metamorphosis of both our gentle island and its many-hued and varied residents into what we are today. Wonderful! --Frank Hay, Kokee, Kauai

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I was born in 1953 on Kaua`i (a pristine place back then). As a teenager, I knew the best hashish deals were found at the hippie treehouse community known as Taylor Camp. I remember marveling at the generosity of some of the residents, and the utter "coolness" of their beautiful translucent tree houses. Although the sixties have long passed, this documentary is sure to induce extended trippy flashbacks into our shared humanity. Through outstanding black and white photography, interviews with the original Taylor Camp residents as well as many locals, a terrific soundtrack of sixties covers, and a breathtaking reenactment along the wild Na Pali coastline, this well-researched and thoughtfully wrought historical documentary provides a fascinating and intimate account of the hippies who took refuge at Taylor Camp, their struggles to survive and in some cases heal, and their colorful interactions with the local community. Whether you are someone who has lived through the counterculture of the sixties and seventies, a young neo-hippie longing for that better world, or just someone with a connection to Hawai`i, you should not miss this gem of a film. --xochi, Local Resident, Honolulu

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I just watched the screening at the MACC and have to say it way surpassed my expectations. You did a superb job and captured the very essence of the time. Oh, to be young and free again. Aloha, --Michelle Steuermann

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Loved the DVD Taylor Camp. We live here now in the autumn of our lives, and have 8 children we'd like to share this with when they come to visit. It is a beautiful DVD...and it was a beautiful life in many ways. How can I order two DVD's? I cannot put it out of my mind, and our friends who brought the DVD to show us, have gone back to Oahu where they live. --Gail J.

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Taylor Camp was a dream.. a dream come true. And the film Taylor Camp takes the audience back in time to experience the life of a fortunate few who lived on the beach. in Hawaii, in treehouse. My treehouse is the "poster treehouse" for the Taylor Camp movie. It was spilt level and built from wood, glass and metal roofing from an old plantation house that we bought for $100. I still dream about my treehouse. I miss candles and kerosene lamps. I miss the sound of the wind in the ironwood trees. I miss the hooting in camp when a bolt of lightning would come close. I miss bathing in the cold water of Limahuli stream. Taylor Camp will move you and ground you. To all of those involved in making the film. Mahalo nui loa ..me ke aloha pumehana. --Diane Daniels, Hanalei (A Taylor Camper)

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I just watched the DVD and was transported. Maika'i! That was an amazing time. --Scott Waters

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Taylor Camp was an adventure, a life style, truly a unique time and culture like no other. We were among the first wave of settlers of surfers and vagabonds to arrive to the Camp in 1969, living the dream on the Beach in Kauai in a tree house. We had found paradise. This was truly an adventure, an experience of a lifetime, as you will see in the film. There were all walks of life; old, young, white, black, rich, poor, nature lovers, surfers, health freaks, and hippies. We grew bountiful gardens and ate fresh fruit and veggies, fished for our protein, sunbathed nude on the beach, bathed in the chilly pools of Limahuli stream, washed dishes downstream, played in waterfalls and made Puka shell jewelry. We had no electricity but I could hike the whole camp at night without a flashlight in total darkness because my bare feet knew it by feel. Taylor Camp to a great degree is what made me the person I am today. I used to try to share my Taylor Camp experiences but words could not describe the life we lived. Now this special film has captured it all. --Connie Conrad

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This is an incredible film from beginning to end. Showing clips of the Vietnam War, protests, etc. portrayed the era and showed why so many people at that time sought refuge at Taylor Camp. The film brilliantly intersperses historic black and white photos of the camp and the campers with interviews of these former Taylor Camp residents today, plus interviews with Kauai locals—both those who loved and hated Taylor Camp—creating a riveting documentary from beginning to end. The audience laughed, sighed, and cried. This is a perfect film for younger people to really "get" that era. The story is about much more than Taylor Camp. It is about an era where things were rapidly changing, about another unjust war, about the human spirit seeking freedom. That era wasn't, as some believe, just about sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll. This film captures so much more! This is a film for our "must keep" DVD collection! --Carol Brock, Makawao, Maui, Hawaii

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As an architect and planner, I cried when I saw the recent film, Taylor Camp. It documents, with deep understanding, an experiment that was 35 years ahead of its time. What happened there was the beginning of what is now the most important movement in the new age of an ecological planet. Not only does this film show that less is more, but it reveals the relationship between the community, nature, agriculture, the local culture and simple spiritual awareness of the importance of Mother Nature. Taylor Camp changed my life when I visited as a graduate student in architecture and urban design at UCLA in the early 70's. My life became dedicated to the principles of the metaphor "The Big Beach in The Sky." Thank you for this film. --David Greenberg

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Absolutely wonderful! I teared up more than once. There was a certain contact high in the audience, as gray haired men and women looked into each other's eyes and got that mushroom smile as if to say, "Yeah, I was there." Maybe not Taylor Camp but in the era with all of it's magic. Mahalo for your great effort. --Bob Shaw

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I finally had the opportunity to watch the Taylor Camp movie. In fact, I watched it twice. THANK YOU!! Not only did we get a glimpse of this once hippie paradise but we also got to see Kauai's simple beginnings, spirit, and values. I loved the film much more than I thought I would. --Rob Lansdell

*****
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