The First Day of the Rest of Your Life tells the story of Synanon, the drug rehabilitation program-turned-utopian commune. Synanon was the pioneer of modern addiction treatment, reforming the lives of thousands by means of a group therapy called ‘the Game’. It was the largest commune in the United States of America, until it got caught up in the cult scare of the 1980s, and was finally shut down amidst accusations of tax fraud and violence. Through the testimonies of a disparate cast of former members, this film will tell the story of the rise and fall of Synanon and it’s charismatic founder, Chuck Dederich. The film promises to be an in-depth, balanced look at commune life and its influences, both immediate and lasting, on the lives of its members.
The First Day of the Rest of Your Life just received a grant from California Humanities.
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