Random Lunacy: Videos from the Road Less Traveled (2009)


Poppa Neutrino always said that "rent is the thing that kills us". So he and his wife and 5 kids picked up some instruments and hit the road. The ‘Travelling Neutrinos’ roamed from the USA to Moscow to Mexico. They slept on beaches, befriended circus folk and crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a raft made of rubbish. An exciting and astonishing portrait of an unconventional life.

“I was an only child, an illegitimate child, by a seaman named Pearlman...” says Poppa, preparing us for a life, which could be torn from the pages of an adventure novel. Poppa brought his children up "living in homes made out of garbage", and he was a man of extremes in all things.“Safety was a lesson Poppa was determined to teach us”, says Poppa's wife Betsy. And when Todd’s mother left him crawling around on the family’s makeshift raft, Poppa “picked up the baby and dropped him in the water”.

After a near-death experience Poppa knew that, more than ever, it was up to him to determine his own fate. So the ‘Travelling Neutrinos’ headed for Mexico. “We probably made about eight dollars a day”, says daughter Ingrid, “we were dirty but we loved running around on our own”. His fifth wife Betsy taught the kids up to a fourth grade education; “anything further than that they would figure out for themselves”. When a parade of elephants and performers passed by one day, Poppa asked: “Can we join your circus?” “We fitted in great”, remembers Marissa, though as Todd admits “when we finally did make friends we were always moving on”. When Poppa Neutrino was asked to leave the circus, half the circus piled into a broken-down bus along with them. “I love the challenge of every day!”, Poppa’s daughter Jessica cried. But the reality was that, “there were too many of us and we didn’t have enough to eat”. “The raft is the way to go”, declared Poppa Neutrino, “free of the landlord”. For 2 months his family worked night and day creating a raft from pieces of garbage. “Sailing the Atlantic was probably one of the most extreme of Poppa’s plans”, remembers Todd. Torrential storms, 5 foot waves, sharks and the snail pace progress took their toll. “A freighter was about to cut this boat in half!” Betsy screamed. But after 60 days at sea, the Neutrinos saw land. “We have done the impossible!” cried Poppa. In Ireland, he was greeted with cheers of adoration. “Was it Nietsche who said – ‘behold the superman’?” Poppa smiles, “nothing is achieved through moderation and prudence”. Although all of his kids have now adopted conventional lifestyles, Poppa is adamant that “every member of the Neutrinos is spiritually and intellectually alive. It’s been an incredible experience”, he smiles as he and Betsy head out on the road again. A nail-biting, awe-inspiring ride.

Trending Videos
Most Watched Documentaries
Hope is a Verb
Developing Skills of the Heart
Films For Patrons: Donate $5/mo to Gain Access to These Great Films

Films For Action is a library for people who want to change the world.


Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

Over the last 15 years, we've reviewed and curated over 1,000 free documentaries and 4,000 short films, plus over 150 pay-per-view documentaries, spanning 34 topics related to changing the world.

During this time we've been able to reach tens of millions of people - not by owning a TV network or spending truckloads of cash on advertising, but because millions of awesome people keep sharing 'films for action' with their friends on social media - in particular, our 850,000 supporters on Facebook and 70,000 site members. 

One of the coolest things is, thanks to our patrons, our library is ad-free and 100% supported by member donations, while 99% of our library is free to access and always will be. The pay-per-view films on our site, of course, help support the filmmakers, and 90-100% of the revenue for PPV films hosted by us goes to the filmmakers. 

To thank our $5/mo patrons, we partner with filmmakers and distributors to provide access to a growing number of films that are normally pay-per-view. With just 24 highly curated films at the moment, it's basically a mini "Netflix for world changers," but its main function is to support the library as a whole.

If you'd like to know more, want to help out, or you're a filmmaker or distributor looking to collaborate, drop us a line via our contact page. 

Tim Hjersted
Co-Founder & Director
Lawrence, KS