|Rena Mundo Croshere|
|Year of Production:||2013|
|Categories:||Lights Camera Take Action|
|Premiere Status:||United States Premiere|
|Special Events:||Stories of Change|
|Religion and Spirituality|
|Social Justice and Human Rights|
“How about just up and changing?” asks hippie holy man Stephen Gaskin. American Commune tells the story of the Farm, founded by a group led by Gaskin and his wife Ina May, godmother of the modern midwifery movement. For the first time in 20 years, filmmaker sisters Nadine Mundo and Rena Mundo Croshere return to the Farm, where they were born and raised. Born to a Beverly Hills Jewish mom and a Bronx-raised Puerto Rican dad, the sisters recount the commune’s origins as a caravan of 60 buses leaves San Francisco in 1970 and ultimately lands in the backwoods of Tennessee. Surviving vows of poverty, the rigors of city kids trying to farm, an FBI raid during the Reagan years and Phil Donahue, they are finally done in by the limits of idealism. As the once self-sustaining utopian experiment transitions, the filmmakers’ family crumbles and the sisters flee to Los Angeles, where they consume TV, perfume and meat for the first time. Accented with vintage home footage and news reports—from Rather to Cronkite—this is no simple “wasn’t that a groovy idea while it lasted” story. With empathy for the Farm’s efforts to reboot society, the Mundo sisters have created an engaging and layered portrait of an unusual community and its legacy. —Ken Schneider
Directors Rena Mundo Croshere and Nadine Mundo in person in San Francisco.
RENA MUNDO CROSHERE (Director/Producer/Writer) and NADINE MUNDO (Director/Producer/ Editor) are a sibling directing team and co-owners of the production company, Mundo Films. The sisters work as a team with a shared skill set of directing, producing, writing, editing and story development. AMERICAN COMMUNE is their first feature documentary. Rena and Nadine began their careers while they were both still in college. While at New York University, Rena directed a documentary about teenage prostitution in Cuba, called Prostitution Y Tourismo. The film caught Michael Moore’s attention and upon graduating she was hired as an associate producer on Moore’s Emmy-winning series, The Awful Truth. While studying at San Francisco State University, Nadine directed and edited Art of Survival, a documentary about Capoeira (a Brazilian dance form incorporating martial arts) and inner city youth, executive produced by Benjamin Bratt. During production, Nadine was nominated a Robert F. Kennedy fellow and awarded a San Francisco Arts Commission grant. Recently, Nadine was a Producer on Time of Death, a new documentary series for Showtime about people at the end of their lives to be aired in 2014. Before that she was the Senior Producer for Showtime's, The Real L Word, a reality series that followed the lives of six lesbians at work and play, and was Series Producer for MTV's documentary series, “Chelsea Settles,” about a 325 pound young black woman who struggles with her self-esteem and losing weight. Rena and Nadine developed and directed the MTV series My Life (Translated), starring SuChin Pak, about bicultural teens struggling with identity. Rena was a celebrity producer for MTV’s hit pop culture series, When I Was 17, about celebrities (including Adam Levine and Kathy Griffin), when they were 17 years old. She also produces episodes for the Emmy-winning MTV documentary series, True Life. The Mundos directed a Coca Cola sponsored online spot for Platinum music artist, Ne-Yo, which received over a million hits in the first two weeks. They also did an online video with the Australian duo The Veronicas. Rena and Nadine directed a YouTube video on Eric Volz, a 28-year-old American wrongfully imprisoned in Nicaragua. Their video went viral and helped garner national media attention for Volz, including coverage on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, The Today Show, Dateline, People Magazine and Washington Post. Other MTV credits for the Mundo sisters include the Emmy-winning series Made,Engaged & Underage, My Super Sweet 16, The Social History of Concerts, and High School Stories. They also worked on Flipping Vegas for A&E, Rockstory for VH1 and Discovery Health for Discovery Channel.