“…something else was on the way, in religion, in music, in ethics and sexuality, in our attitudes toward nature, and in our whole style of life” – Alan Watts – In My Own Way

A wild and wooly place, California’s hidden bohemia.  Where sex, drugs and philosophy thrived among the eucalyptus just a few miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

“The Heights was and is one of those rare places that is known and not known.  It was the site of hundreds of amazing parties over the last fifty years and yet remains tucked beneath some beatnik cone of silence, its muddy dirt road still unmarked on many maps….” –  Erik Davis – The Visionary State

Druid Heights is a short documentary film by Marcy Mendelson. Based in Oakland, California & Berlin, Germany, she began her artistic career with a degree in Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design. Exhibiting her photography in galleries for over a decade, she shifted her focus to photojournalism which led to reporting for National Geographic about the state of cheetah conservation throughout Africa. This inevitably led to more than just photography. The demands of complex storytelling naturally evolved into documentary filmmaking.

As a ‘love letter’ to her adopted home-state of California, she gained exclusive permission from the residents of Druid Heights to tell the story of this secret bohemia.

Rent Online

Watch Druid Heights online 


San Francisco, California on Saturday, January 23, 2016 7:00pm (Please enquire via email for details as space is limited for this special private event)

Sausalito, California on Friday, January 22, 2016 at the Sausalito Public Library 7:00pm (entry is free)

Berlin, Germany on Sunday, May 10, 2015 at Donau115 8:00pm
Facebook Invitation: Druid Heights Screening

Berlin, Germany on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at T Berlin 7:00pm
Facebook Invitation: World Premiere of Druid Heights


Joey Plaster

Posted 23 Jan ’16


I JUST now saw that you are screening tonight in San Francisco. It feels like more than a coincidence: I am planning a pilgrimage to Druid Heights with friends in less than a month.

I’m on the Board of the GLBTHS, create radio documentaries, and write about the history of queer homeless youth organizing as a PhD candidate at Yale University.

This is all to say that I am an enormous nerd and would absolutely love to come to the screening tonight. Please let me know!

Reply Mendelson Images

Posted 2 Feb ’16

So glad you made it!

Michael Moran

Posted 26 Mar ’16

I have a great interest in all things pertaining to Druid Heights. I would love to visit the area and hope you will put me in touch with someone who might allow me to tour. I have written to various people, both in government and the media, but no one returns my emails. Can you please advise me on how I might get permission to tour.

Thank you,

Michael Moran

P.S. I am writing a book on this era and have papers from various archives concerning the Heights. I may know more about this “unintentional community” than anyone else and could be of use to other interested parties… just saying.

Mendelson Images

Posted 26 Mar ’16 at 11:12 am | Permalink

Hello Michael,

It seems you’ve made inquiries and I can only assume that not getting a reply is your answer to the situation. Bear in mind this is where people live, it is their home so not being granted a tour is an acceptable reality. I wish I could point you toward the answer you’re seeking but at this time I cannot.

The film was just made available for rent online : https://druidheights.vhx.tv

Would love to hear about the archives and papers you’ve uncovered.



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Currently I'm working on my new film, Chasing Cheetah, based in Namibia; a documentary road trip searching for the cheetah in the midst of human-wildlife conflict.