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Rainbow Bridge Revisited

Rainbow Bridge Revisited

On DVD: 
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Running Time: 
60 Minutes
Rainbow Bridge is a film that was released in 1972, directed by Chuck Wein (Beauty No. 2), and produced by Jimi Hendrix manager Mike Jeffery. The film was about Pat Healey’s dive into spiritualism at the Rainbow Bridge Occult Meditation facility in Maui where Hendrix would play a free concert as part of an experiment on meditation. Due to many legalities concerning the film and the films soundtrack, we do not get to sample the film, only hear from its cast members. 
First off, Rainbow Bridge Revisited is a very low budget film that splices small archive bits of the film into the documentary. We find young cast members running (and falling) down hills, diving both clothed and naked from jutting rock formations into pools below, and pressing on against the windy weather of the Hawaiian islands. Aside from the old spliced in footage most of the documentary is consumed by even more random footage of surfers backed by the documentaries soundtrack performed by Executive Producer and Director Merrell Frankhauser. Really, I couldn’t help but feel, what with the crazy amount of run time that the surf and sound footage occurred, that this documentary was just a glorified way of getting Frankhauser’s music out. 
While a majority of the film is sight and sound, eventually we get to hear from cast members of the film (likely no one born after the 1980’s has ever heard of). I promised myself I’d keep an open mind once the first interviewee started going on about UFO’s and took a spill after trying to stand up from the picnic table where the interview took place, but “Don’t drink the Kool Aid” really flashed brightly in my head. 
As can be expected from old hippies who never grew out of their mindset of free love, peace, and drugs, the conversations were somewhat laughable. There was more then enough talk about UFO’s and how, while prepping to film, one, in broad daylight, popped out of the sky and freaked people out. Then you had stories of sunken islands and strange rock formations. A bit WTF stuck with me while trying to discern what this movie was about. Was it surfing? UFO’s? Hendrix? Meditation, spirituality, drugs? What?
In the end, it just dawned on me again that the film didn’t hold much weight and the real focus seemed to be on Frankhauser’s music. It’s featured through a majority of the film. Instead of chapters in the index we find links to tracks in the doc, and the set comes with a CD soundtrack. Like the hippies who were mesmerized and left confused about the arrival of several UFO’s during the original filming of Rainbow Bride, I too am confused and lost when it comes to the purpose of this documentary. More then likely people old enough to have experienced the original might like to take a strange trip down memory lane, but for me, this doc is a quickly forgotten one. 
AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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