Welcome, visitor!   Register   Login

Post an Ad
Menu Post an Ad

2018 Salt Spring Film Festival: Lund – End of the Road Filmmaker with Tai Uhlmann

    Film Festival, News & Events, People & Places    February 15, 2018

The following article was written by Jennifer Cikaluk as part of a series of articles about filmmakers coming to the Salt Spring Film Festival on March 2-4, 2018. Filmmaker Tai Uhlmann along with Co-Director Theo Angell will be attending the festival and leading a discussion about the film following the screening. The Filmmaker series is sponsored by: Stonehouse B&B, Harbour House Hotel and Hastings House.

LUND – End of the Road: Interview with Co-Director/Producer Tai Uhlmann

Flash back to the sixties: the counterculture social revolution and a time of rebellion against the conservative norm. Youth were seeking greater individual freedom and exploring new expressions through music, drugs, clothing, and their sexuality. Many were politically disenfranchised and mistrusting of the government, bringing rise to the anti-Vietnam war movement in the United States.

“It was a very hard time to be in America at the time. The feeling was either we had to get involved and try to change things or we had to get out.” (from Lund)

This is where the film Lund: End of the Road, begins. By the late sixties, following the Summer of Love and Woodstock a migration began. A group of American draft evaders, along with some intellectuals and free spirited individuals began heading west in search of a freer way of life.

“I never thought, well I can always go to Canada. It was not an option. I didn’t know that Canada exists… I just took off. I was heading with the Volkswagen Van, 1970, heading west. That was it. No map, just heading west” (from Lund)

They drove Highway 101 until there was no more road and discovered the small BC coastal harbour town of Lund. They found paradise and were at one with nature yet completely ill prepared. Together, they learned how to live off the land. They developed a community based on inclusiveness and acceptance. They created their own rules (or lack there of) and engaged in an experiment of new social order enhanced with lots of drug-induced free loving interactions.

“When we got up here there was all this freedom to be. A freedom that I can only have imagined.” (from Lund)

This experiment did not come without its challenges. The migration of hippies continued to flow into the lands around Lund. At times, the new settlers found themselves at odds with the Lund ‘old-timers’, a community with deep roots in logging, fishing and farming. With time they came to accept their differences and found common ground. They established themselves, building homes, having children and seeking ways to contribute, but never changing their commitment to the lifestyle they had so bravely sought.

“When the longhaired often-naked hippies showed up they really didn’t fit with this kind of old-time pioneer ethos here. There were a lot of conflicts” (from Lund)

The Co-Director, Tai Uhlmann, herself one of Lund’s hippie kids has returned to make Lund her home. Her film is a tribute to her childhood community, a film five years in the making. It is atmospheric and beautiful, fun and wacky. With intimate and candid interviews, she provides us with the opportunity to get to know this amazing tapestry of people. The film weaves old Super 8 footage and photographs throughout, transporting you to those days of sun hazed, naked, field romping self-exploration and captures the true essence of what it was like to be there at the end of the road.

Fast-forward to 2018, and you have to wonder if we are not ripe for a new revolution. Perhaps a new migration is on the horizon, a new road for a new beginning.

I reached out to Co-Director, Producer and Executive Producer, Tai Uhlmann to talk to her about the film and her experience as a filmmaker and Co-Director with Theo Angell on Lund: End of the Road.

Q & A Questions:

Why did you feel the story of the migration of hippies and the development of a ‘off the grid’ community in BC was a story that needed to be told? Is it more than documenting your childhood community?

Having grown up as a hippy kid in Lund and leaving for a life in San Francisco and NYC it became clear my childhood wasn’t the norm and that people always had a lot of questions for me. There is a freedom to the stories told in our film that people of my generation yearn for. As the world becomes more driven by technology and distance, many of us long for connection to community and a close proximity to nature. Sustainability, experimentation, political resistance, protesting war and giving the middle finger to the status quo were driven by the generation of people we capture in this film. These stories inspired us and the subjects were getting older and their voices dying. Through their candid and often revealing accounts of the time we experience their vision, their failure and their courage. Who better to tell the stories than those who lived them.

Is the ‘Lund experiment’ still going on? What elements of the original settlement still exist in Lund? How has it evolved and if so, how is it thriving or struggling?

Lund is still keeping it real! There are many of the original hippies still living in the funky houses they built in the bush. There are still outhouses, unpredictable wiring, potlucks and healing circles. Many of us have returned with our own kids and others from across Canada and the US looking for cheap land to grow their own food and find home in a small supportive community with a rich and worldly history.

You have a personal connection to Lund being one of the ‘Hippie Kids’ and I understand you have left NYC to live in Lund. What led up to the decision to join the ‘migration’?

My husband (co-Director Theo Angell) and I were living in New York and had just had our first child. We started to see the city through her eyes and it was so loud and dirty…city dirt! I yearned for home and raising kids were they could be barefoot and pee outside so I suggested Portland (close enough) and Theo suggested Lund. It was a bit of a drastic move but it was a good way to delve into this film project and we‘ve never looked back!

Was Lund a different place when you returned home – is it all you hoped it would be? Have you found a new beginning at the end of the Road?

Lund has always been changing and redefining itself and continues to be a place for people to get lost & found. There are great things happening there now. The Tla’amin Nation owns Lund again and the town is being revitalized. Families continue to move here from all over Canada for the freedom it offers and the hippies make it a town where everyone knows your name.

The opening of your film explores the disenfranchisement of the establishment in the USA, draft dodgers and the politically unsatisfied. Do you see a parallel to what is happening in the US now and do you think we will see another migration of sorts?

Yes. The migration is happening now and happened during the Gulf war as well. I lived in the US for all 8 years of George W. Bush and thought that was bad. The current US government is far worse and is not a safe place for many immigrants or for many of it’s own citizens if you are Black or Muslim. The world is in a far more precarious place than it was in the 60’s with global warming, oceans of plastic, food insecurity, vanishing bees, the continuous war machine and threat of terror, and so much more. I think Canada (though we have our own wrought history) seems like a stable and safe haven for many.

You worked on this project for many years – starting in 2008. Did you encounter challenges or resistance during the filmmaking process? Did all the community members of Lund embrace this film?

Mostly people wanted to tell their stories. There were a few folks who are private and wanted to keep it that way but contributed in other ways like offering photographs to be included in the film. Overall I think it was a cathartic experience and really healing for a few who had unresolved feelings having left their country and family for something completely unknown. Through the film and seeing their full stories shared they were able to see their leaving not as an act of giving up but as an act of courage.

Has taking a personal and immersive look into your community made you see things differently about your community? Are all the stones turned over? How much did you choose to filter out?

The process of making this film gave me a much deeper understanding and respect for all the adults in my community who raised me. They had such trust in the unknown and a willingness to take personal risks and try things that were completely out of their scope of understanding. There are always more stories to uncover and tell. Each interview lasted around 2 hours so there is much more than we could ever include in the film. We really wanted the film to be the community telling their own story.

Is End of the Road, homage to something that once was or a calling to something that could be?

It is both. We must know our past to see our future. Learn from the experience of others and use those experiences to inform our own way forward. We wanted to honour and humour the great humans in our film as well as make the film current and accessible to younger generations. As my mom says in the film, “It wasn’t something that just was. It can be again. It’s all right here.”

By Jennifer Cikaluk

No Tags


Post an Event

Community News

  • Join Country Grocer in Practicing the 3 ...

    by on April 18, 2018

    Who doesn’t love progress, especially when it comes to our health and well-being? And targeting school-aged kids is a great place to start. Country Grocer’s latest demonstration of community leadership launches this week – just in time for Earth Day on April 22. The store’s community relations team went into schools through the week of […]

  • Untreated Sewage Discharged into Ganges ...

    by on April 16, 2018

    An electrical and mechanical failure at the Ganges Wastewater Treatment Plant on Salt Spring Island resulted in a sewage release from early afternoon April 14 to early afternoon April 15. The sewage entered Ganges Creek and travelled approximately 100 meters prior to discharging into the ocean at the outlet of Ganges Creek. The shoreline affected […]

  • Depleted Old Boys Squad Battle Through i...

    by on April 13, 2018

    Old Boys end season on a winning note –  The pouring rain on Saturday April 7th complemented the Old Boys mood as only 9 hardy souls arrived at Finlayson Park, Victoria for their opening game in the Annual Bill Drew end of season tournament.  Included in the 9 was a return after a 2-season absence of […]

  • Fire News: Being FireSmart Protects Your...

    by on April 13, 2018

    FireSmart is a wildfire safety programme with an economical and common sense approach. The key concept of FireSmart involves removing or reducing the amount of burnable material (think “fire fuel”) from around your home. The area within 10 meters (30 feet) of your home is the “Priority Zone.” If you remove fire fuel from this […]

  • Forum: Globe Columnist Elizabeth Renzett...

    by on April 11, 2018

    Why are there so few women in politics? Why is public space, whether in the street or on social media, still so hostile to women? Is the #MeToo movement signalling a real shift in society’s treatment of women? From Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign to the quest for equal pay, and from the transgender movement to […]

  • Wet Soil, Cool Crops and Pollinator Plan...

    by on April 5, 2018

    Our cold spring continues…with the soil too soggy to work in many gardens, especially after this recent heavy rain. If you squeeze a small handful of soil and it stays together in a compact clod, then it is too wet to handle; it should be moist but still easy to crumble apart after you squeeze […]

  • Forum Hosts Vancouver Aquarium President...

    by on April 4, 2018

    Salt Spring Islanders know the importance of healthy oceans. Indeed, many Salt Spring residents are protesting the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, which if completed will add hundreds of oil tankers to the Salish Sea each year. The threat of oil spills is but one of many challenges facing our oceans. Overfishing, climate change, and plastics […]

  • BC Rural Dividend Grant Funds Salt Sprin...

    by on April 3, 2018

    As part of its rural development mandate, the Government of British Columbia is providing $39,136 to support community projects in the Cowichan Valley and Gulf Islands, Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan announced today. “The wide range of projects that received grants is a testament to the resourcefulness of the proponents and their commitment to diversifying […]

  • Bike Park Community Open House Insights

    by on April 3, 2018

    A community open house for the proposed Salt Spring Lions Commemorative Bike Park in Mouat Park took place on Sunday, March 25 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Salt Spring Island Lions Hall. The event was hosted by the Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) to share information about the project and […]

Pin It on Pinterest