Mouth to Mouth is a film about a group of street kids travelling through Europe in a rusty old van, attending festivals, dumpster diving, and smoking and drinking. The group, called Street People Armed with Radical Knowledge, or SPARK, goes from city to city living as crusty punks, forming social bonds and drifting around until they make their way to a vineyard somewhere in southern Europe. At this point the group began living communally and working the land while they also take on the form of the charismatic cult that was hinted at during their earlier travels.
The group has a leader, Harry, who expresses a bland self-help straight-edge philosophy and repeatedly admonishes his followers to "stay strong". At one point, while the group is on the road, their youngest member cuts his throat on a piece of twisted metal and dies after he's flung into a dumpster to look for food. No one really takes responsibility for the death, including the boy's best friend who carelessly tossed him in there, but its Harry's disinterest that is striking as an early clue of his evil. Once they occupy the vineyard, Harry begins exercising authority more cruelly, punishing disobedient followers by putting them in a well. The film ends predictably when one member dies under such punishment and another, Sherry (the film's main character - it doesn't really suit the purpose of my blog to speak about her) rejects Jeff's authority and leaves the group.
The group is a charismatic cult with a complete absence of spirituality, much like the cult in Martha Marcy May Marlene. They are a self-help group with a bad man for a leader. Much like with that other movie, its easier for me to understand how the bizarre and psychotic millenarianism of Charles Manson, for example, could compel followers to invest in him as an authority figure, than it is for me to understand how a bland punk-guru's dull can inspire his friends to obey his every word.
Director Allison Murray also made the documentary Train on the Brain, the greatest of all hobo/train hopping films, so that's good.
The Bug is on the soundtrack, which is also very good.