This hour-long documentary is about a self-named character, Poppa Neutrino, who wandered the world with his wife and kids, having no money and few possessions. They survived as street musicians, as performers in a rinky-dink Mexican circus (and later put together their own rinky-dink circus), and as trash pickers. They built humongous rafts from junk and sailed one of them across the Atlantic Ocean. And lots more.
Remember, this isn’t a tall tale, it’s a documentary.
The movie is a mishmash of home movie and professional footage. Chronology isn’t highly regarded here. You’ll see a clip of his daughter as an adult followed by a clip of her as a young child. “Flashback” isn’t the idea. “Random” is. The format expresses Poppa Neutrino’s free and inspiring approach to life.
His interview segments reveal not a nut-job at all, but a man of superior intellect who has thought deeply and understands much. He explains his lifestyle as simply a way to avoid holding a job or paying rent.
He was born William David Pearlman in 1933. After being bitten by a dying stray dog Pearlman became seriously ill for two years, so ill that he thought he was going to die. He says he lost his fear of death during that ordeal, and at the age of 52 was inspired to change his name to Poppa Neutrino.
His life has been described as performance art, with a new adventure happening every day.
Even though Random Lunacy has to rate as at least a fascinating story, or story and a half, it is only the tip of the iceberg, or better, the tip of the junk pile, of Poppa Neutrino’s life. I say “junk pile” with the utmost reverence. I can see I’m on the verge of becoming a Neutrino information junky.
There is a book: The Happiest Man in the World.
You might not want to adopt Poppa Neutrino’s lifestyle but I’ll bet you will be delighted by this true movie.