The lone documentary inclusion in our ALL OF THEM WITCHES series, Vali is also perhaps the rarest, receiving only limited theatrical distribution on the occasional arthouse screen and a brief home release from Mystic Fire Video in the ‘80s. Underground filmmaking couple Sheldon and Flame Schon (Diane Rochlin) took their 16mm camera deep into the woods along Italy’s Amalfi coast into the forest home of Vali Myers, an Australian expat, practicing artist, dancer, and general Western counter-cultural muse, who was an acknowledged inspiration to a young Patti Smith and patronized by tastemaker and The Paris Review founder and editor, George Plimpton. A distinct and autonomous entity even for bohemian types, Vali’s unique brand of mystic spiritualism has her engaging in esoteric rituals and magic spells before the Rochlins’s camera, which captures her dynamic movements with impressionistic cinematography as pure and magical as the psychedelic Witch of Positano herself. Sheldon’s graceful, lilting lensing and the duo’s playful editing highlight the magical properties of natural color and light, reinforcing the self-expression to which Vali’s lifestyle so beautifully subscribes.

Dir. Sheldon Rochlin, 1967, Digital Presentation, 65 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!