The word “desert” brings to mind the images of the waste lands inhabited by poisonous reptiles and thorn bushes, with unbearable temperatures. It definitely doesn’t conjure up an alluring environment. Nonetheless, a house was built on the top of a wind beaten peak, the Ghost Mountain, in the far west of the Colorado Desert in California, 75 years ago. Marshal South, an eccentric naturalist, writer and artist lived there with his family. He had decided to live a primitive life for 17 years during the Great Depression and the Second World War, drawing the attention of the national press. This striking story of escape from town and civilization is shown through photos, film, aerial shots, written documents and interviews given by the protagonists. Marshal and Tanya South wanted to protect their children from a dangerous society and its examples, which they felt were often inadequate for human beings. They paid a high price for their choice and the film wonders about the failure or success of this particular fascinating experiment.
JOHN MC DONALD