Steven Fitzgerald awakens one day to discover that he has inherited his deceased father’s entire ten billion dollar fortune. That is the simple premise of The Tribe. What would a person of conscience do when provided with such riches?
Long estranged from his father and always something of a drifter, Steven finds his idealism suddenly reawakened when presented with this enormous opportunity and sets out to establish what he calls ‘a tribe’ in the Northern California woods. Having purchased a large chunk of land, he builds a collection of cottages, his idea being to foster a shared existence using smart technology and renewable energy, his hope, that it will become the template for a better and more sustainable world.
With the cottages completed, an assortment of dreamers, misfits and likeminded visionaries soon start to drift into Steven’s life, among them Colette, the Julliard trained dancer who has been kicked around on the lower rungs of corporate America for the past five years, Kyler, a young man struggling with recovery, Camellia, whose only son recently died of a drug overdose and hasn’t spoken a word for months, Elicia, the earth mother and organic farmer and a growing collection of young techies and craftsmen. Even a couple of conservative Republicans, Dr. McDonald and his wife Kristy, find themselves burnt out on the American dream and drawn to this idea of a shared existence, where life is centered around a communal core, but individuals remain individuals with their own separate goals and dreams.
Of course, what seems like a simple proposition on the surface turns into one unexpected challenge after another, the joys, difficulties and humor of which multiply as each new person arrives. There is no denying it is a struggle at times, yet for everyone involved, there is a new sense of belonging, where love, cooperation and shared purpose displace the emptiness of their heretofore solo and rudderless lives.
As Steven says when interviewed by Rolling Stone, “…I’ll be the first to admit that we’re winging it, which has led to some awkward moments, where this or that person’s ego gets in the way, mine included, but the spirit of cooperation quickly brings you back in line and you laugh. Basically, it’s humble yourself and go with what’s best for the tribe, because the sense of brotherhood and harmony is ultimately more rewarding than having it your own way.”