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Byron Shire
June 27, 2022

Hippie doco premieres in Mullumbimby

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A scene from Sharon Shostak's new film Mullumbimby's Madness, set to premiere in the town on December 3.
A scene from Sharon Shostak’s new film Mullumbimby’s Madness, set to premiere in the town on December 3.

Australia’s ‘Biggest Little Town’ of Mullumbimby was dying. The dairy farmers and banana growers were walking away from the land.

Then came a wave – a ‘naked hairy wave’ as a newspaper editor later described it – of new settlers who converged on the district. It was the dawn of the Australian hippies in the early 1970s and they experimented with strange building methods, a lack of clothing, moon dances and free love – and the drug marijuana, which changed the town in some unexpected ways.

In this feature documentary commissioned by the Brunswick Valley Historical Society, Sharon Shostak, child of the counterculture and creator of The Echo Doco and the award-winning Tish Ho, weaves together intimate snapshots with entertainingly articulate ‘new settlers’ now turned eccentric elders and some of the farmers and townsfolk who encountered them.

Also featuring renowned Australian journalist Kerry O’Brien, who was one of the first to report to the nation on the Aquarian revolution, Mullumbimby’s Madness boasts a wealth of newly uncovered archival footage and photographic treasures to give you a taste of what the weird invasion was really like. Turn up, drop into it, and trip out.

Mullumbimby’s Madness – the legacy of the Hippies will premiere at Mullumbimby Civic Hall on Saturday December 3, with additional screenings at the Drill Hall the following night.


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