Random Lunacy: Videos From the Road Less Traveled (2008) – By Josh Samford

 Random Lunacy is as apt a title as any for this hour long bio-pic of either the craziest or most interesting man you could probably ever hope to meet. Random Lunacy shows us the life of Poppa Neutrino, a man who has lived homeless his entire life while raising up a family of five children and taken care of his wife. Neutrino isn’t the average homeless man though, he is homeless from his own choice – not because of drinking habits, drug addiction or any vice. He simply has never wanted to live a life where he has to pay rent, pay taxes or work for anyone. As a matter of fact, he has never really held a job in all of his years, at least no longer than a day or two. Neutrino holds this as a point of victory for himself, that he can live outside of the expected lifestyle and live in his own fashion. As someone who thinks a lot of hard work, it was good that the documentary filmmakers started off by showing that Neutrino doesn’t simply live this way because he is lazy and is afraid of holding a job – as they show him hammering away and creating his a wagon out of scraps of garbage in New York – it becomes easy to find a form of respect for the man despite his very unconventional lifestyle. That’s before they show the boats (or rafts, as he likes to call them) that Neutrino and his family built out of trash they had found, along with his trip across the vast Atlantic ocean in one of these boats! Random Lunacy it turns out is a lot more than just a documentary on the homeless. Random Lunacy is a beautiful tale of a very odd man, his debatable forms of expressing his love and the amazing family that came from his teachings.

Coming in at just one hour in length, the film keeps up an amazing pace not usually found in documentary’s like this – and I give up my respect wholeheartedly to the filmmakers as they portrayed this amazing tale with absolute class and with many visual and audio devices that tell the story for them wonderfully. The visuals are ALWAYS there to go along with the voice over, and it is simply amazing that Neutrino and his family were able to actually document so much of their lives. It is told that Poppa Neutrino came up with the idea of documenting so much of their life as one of his many "get rich quick" ideas, although unfortunately it isn’t explained how they came up with the money for the camera or the tapes for it – however if there is one thing that this film can teach you is that there will always be a way. If you want something in life, you can find a way to get it and if you strive hard enough you can succeed. It is simply amazing how much of their life seems documented on these tapes, and how with every anecdote from the now grown children the filmmakers seemed to dig up the footage of the actual event or at least footage so relatable to it that it fits right in with the story. The way in which this huge story seems to unfold with such ease, I think it is simply mind blowing and a absolutely amazing look into a life so out of the ordinary that it is amazing how unheralded he is in modern society.

That isn’t to say Neutrino is what I would call a model man, you watch the film and you get the idea that the children in some ways resent the entirely too rough childhoods they seemed forced to endure. I’m sure after everything is said and done, they feel those years were at times fun and the hard times only helped them in so many ways I can’t really begin to understand – but there’s also the backwards philosophy of Neutrino’s that the children needed their youngest years to be so tough so that they could live carefree in their adult lives, which seems the opposite of the lives that they eventually strived for. The children, some adopted by Neutrino, some his own from his four wives – all have grown to be successful and dare I say "normal" citizens. Ingrid has become a singer and carried on some of the traditions with her husband and daughter – but swears to spoil her daughter, to make up for all those things she never had. They have all grown to be very well glued together people with spouses, homes and lives all their own but you wonder just how much they might have missed having such a hard upbringing. However, with all of that said and done, Poppa Neutrino is also more than likely for the success that they have had as young adults by teaching them the hardships of what can happen and what would have to be done. To be able to head out into the world as a young man or woman from nothing and work towards buying your own home with no one there to back you up or take your hand. In so many different way, Random Lunacy is a wonderful and uplifting film and shows the real life adventures of a group of people who simply went out there and dedicated their lives to surviving – and experiencing all this life has to hold. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a great documentary or to see some people who have truly experienced our life. You can read more about it at http://www.poppaneutrino.com.