Three Miles North Of Molkom Review: Peace de Resistance
I must admit that as the opening sequence of white, happy-clappy, dancing hippies unfurled before my eyes, the prudish Brit in me balked at the idea of sitting through Three Miles North of Molkom.
The film, set at the No Mind Festival in the Swedish town of Ängsbacka, encourages attendees to experience the elation, possibilities and wonder of the here and now, through workshops and self reflection.
The idea of stroking, sniffing, sharing and singing with a group of people I’d only just met sounds like the kind of pseudo therapy that is made for whiners; not for stern Irish girls like me: raised on potatoes and grit. But, in reserving my judgement, I was overcome with surprise at not only my enjoyment of the film, but my desire to visit the festival.
After all, twenty four years of repression needs to be released sometime.
Corinna Villari-McFarlane and Robert Cannan focus on one particular “sharing group” at the festival, made up of several hippies, of varying degrees of potency (from Ljus the goatherd with a penchant for the word “abundance” to Marit, who gains confidence by tapping into her inner royal) and one uber-skeptical Australian, the inimitable Nick. Short of indulging in a Cartman-esque outburst about “tree-hugging hippie crap”, Nick’s experiences initially run counter to the group as a whole: he is uncomfortable sharing his thoughts, and dismisses the group as “a cult” whilst retreating to his 21st century technological comforts and the solitary confinement of his tent. Until that is, he takes part in the firewalk.
Where Nick couldn’t see the positive effects of chanting, he realises that this physical challenge evokes the same feelings as his passion: sport. As he begins to embrace the processes within the festival, Nick not only connects with the group in a way he never thought possible, but discovers sides to his being that longed to be nurtured; even giving him confidence to finish his first book.
Although Nick’s story commands the most attention, the other characters provide comic-relief and heartbreak in equal measure, especially the tension between Siddharta the highly sexed Swedish Viking, on a constant search for “his goddess” and Mervi, the hippie grandma whose ex-lover turns up at the festival prematurely. In the most painful and awkward moment of the film, Mervi and her former boyfriend stand looking at each other for what seems like a tortuous eternity before the mystery man turns away and Mervi is left to plaster a defiant smile on her lips, against all odds.
In challenging stereotypes, Three Miles North of Molkom proves that the weakness of the human condition can be fortified in the most unlikely of places. Who needs to write movie fiction when the beauty and humour of true human stories can create such a natural high?
Craving for more hippy happiness? Check out our interview with the Directors of the movie who assure us it’s “not a cult” and wax warmly lyrical about all things film, hippy and directing. Or make sure to accept their open invitation to OTB readers to special preview screenings of the movie all over the country…..