Bruce Geisler Collection, 1969-1984.
Call no.: PH 049
In the early 1970s, the documentary filmmaker Bruce Geisler dropped out of Pomona College one semester short of graduation, drove across country, and joined the Brotherhood of the Spirit commune, then the largest commune in the eastern United States. During his four years living with the Brotherhood, later renamed the Renaissance Community, Geisler learned the craft of filmmaking, before returning west to earn an MFA at the film school of the University of Southern California. Geisler has received a number of awards as a screenwriter and filmmaker including the Grand Prize for Best Screenplay from Worldfest Houston and the Dominique Dunne Memorial Prize for Filmmaking, and, in 2007, he released his feature-length documentary, Free Spirits, about the Brotherhood of the Spirit/Renaissance Community and its ill-fated founder, Michael Metelica Rapunzel. Geisler is currently a Senior Lecturer in the UMass Amherst Department of Communication.
A collection collection documenting everyday life in the commune and performances by the commune band (Spirit in Flesh and Rapunzel), the Geisler collection was assembled largely during the making of Free Spirits. In addition to many hours of raw and edited footage taken by members of the Brotherhood of the Spirit and Renaissance Community, the collection includes approximately 1.5 feet each of ephemera and newspaper clippings relating to the commune.
- Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)
- Communal living--Massachusetts
- Renaissance Community (Commune)
- Geisler, Bruce
Types of material