Beyond This Place is a story about love - the story of Kaleo La Belle (Writer/Director) and his failed relationship with his unwavering '60s hippie father, Cloud Rock. Trying to understand what Cloud Rock means when he says, "I love you" after being absent for 30 years, Kaleo struggles to place "this fucking love" he feels for a father who was never there.
Cloud Rock was a hippie pioneer on Maui and became an icon for his own alternative lifestyle. "Stoned for 40 years" is how Cloud Rock describes his life. Taking drugs and intense cycling are the only things to which Cloud Rock has remained faithful.
Now a father himself, Kaleo challenges his eccentric father to a cycling tour through the Pacific Northwestern United States, to Spirit Lake at the foot of Mt. St. Helens, which erupted 30 years ago, the year of their separation.
This journey together is demanding - both physically and emotionally. There is no place to hide as the layers of their relationship, pre-conceptions and history are revealed.
The dialog is like a sparring match, in which, through his ideologies, Cloud Rock skillfully tries to turn the fault for his absence on his son. The drugs, the free lifestyle and the ideologies - are the ideas of the '60s generation responsible for Cloud Rock's absence or is this just who Cloud Rock is? What begins as a question about ideologies becomes a complex look at relationships, genealogy, and personal beliefs concluding with two individuals struggling to find a common thread in their love for each other.
In a parallel journey searching for explanations for his father's choice to be absent - a position that Cloud Rock refutes - Kaleo meets Cloud Rock's Maui hippie friends, his ex-hippie mother, and Cloud Rock's other estranged son who Kaleo never knew.
Soulful and poetic, “Beyond This Place” offers an intersting window into a generation of children who grew up as children of hippies. At the same time, it explores forgiveness, acceptance and family expectations - specifically in the father-son relationship, the unique bond that combines love, acceptance, frustration and misunderstanding in equal measure, and undeniably one of the greatest factors influencing the man one becomes.
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