Welcome Space Brothers: The Films of Unarius


Welcome Space Brothers: The Films of Unarius


Alia Penner

18 x 24 offset
Edition of 100

"From out of the stars, a beacon of light beckons humanity forward...bringing a message of scientific understanding, creative expression, and exemplifying love in action." 
--from the Prologue to The Arrival, channelled by the Archangel Uriel (leader of the Unarius Academy of Science)

The Unarius Brotherhood were on a radical mission from the late-‘70s to the mid-‘80s: to spread their “interdimensional science of life” and the principles of reincarnation to the masses via some of most wildly inventive, waaaaay outside-the-box public access TV programming in America. Their cosmic leader, the exuberant septuagenarian Ruth Norman (aka Archangel Uriel), an advanced clairvoyant with a fondness for glittery dresses, rainbow capes and benevolent aliens, permanently altered the minds of tens of thousands across the country — from late-night stoners to seekers leaving behind their lives in order to move to El Cajon, CA, and join the cause.

As part of their outreach, the Unarians created elaborate psychodramatic “documentaries” for the purpose of spiritual healing: films of Uriel and the students channeling and re-enacting their previous lives together on Earth and other planets, no matter how debauched or outlandish — for spiritual healing. Utilizing otherworldly costumes and makeup, guerrilla filming techniques, elaborate sets and ingenious no-budget special effects, this ambitious collective produced a legacy of some of the most mind-shattering, oddly uplifting gems of American outsider cinema. Bootlegged and coveted by collectors for decades, these films have never before been presented as works on the large screen. 

This full-immersion weekend included the world theatrical premiere of Unarius’ 1979 16mm masterwork The Arrival, highlights from their massive archive of public access videos — plus a Unarius costume exhibit, pop-up reading room, workshops, and tea house on Cinefamily’s back patio.

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