Successful Outlaw

418 MONTEZUMA AVE, SANTA FE, NM. 87501

Friday April 26th, 10:00 – 12:00 PM

Successful Outlaw follows the life of biker, builder and master silversmith, Daniel “Pepe” Rochon. During the 70’s Pepe lived and worked at the Mabel Dodge Lujan House when Dennis Hopper was owner and is a rare individual who continues to live the ideals of the counter culture crusaders who arrived and started communes in Northern New Mexico in the 60’s. As a director, I call it “counter cultural preservation.”


Documentary filmmaker David Luis Leal Cortez’s latest film follows on the life of a silversmith whose life is  steeped in New Mexico history. Successful Outlaw follows the life of builder and biker, Daniel “Pepe” Rochon, as he builds a 4000 sq. foot, off grid, passive solar adobe hacienda on Taos Mesa. During the 1970’s Pepe lived and worked at the Mabel Dodge Lujan House when Dennis Hopper was owner and is a rare individual who continues to live the ideals of the counter culture crusaders who arrived and started communes in Northern New Mexico in the 60’s. Successful Outlaw, has had the help of Dennis’ brother, David, who was Rochon’s partner in building many wonderful adobe structures in the region, including the former Return Gallery and the Ed and Trudy Healy Home in Arroyo Hondo, NM.

Pepe is featured in The Art of Stamping by Matthieu Cheminee, who writes, “Pepe was born in 1940 in Appletown, the forest valley of Wisconsin. On his father’s side he is part French and part Ojibwe-Chippewa (an Anishinaabeg group of indigenous people from Canada). On his mother’s side he is Dutch.” Cortez was immediately drawn Pepe’s incredible work ethic and amazed at the fact that a man of his age was so active, with a tough disposition, yet a great sense of humor.

In 1976 Rochon created the Bicentennial Belt with Jeff Morris and Ed Morgan, a unique belt honoring 200 years of the United States of America. Each concho on this belt featured a flag from the United States history. “It is indeed a masterpiece truly deserving of a final home trespassed by thousands who may experience first-hand this exquisite craftsmanship and tribute to our nation in this 200th anniversary year.” NM Bicentennial Commission May 5th 1976. “Hopefully a film about Pepe will galvanize attention to this lost treasure of Americana whose makers have seldom seen since. As a director, I call it “counter cultural preservation. My goal is to make a character driven, transcendental documentary that elucidates and expands one’s ideas about sustainability and creativity, and the blending of the two.”

“I have to keep downsizing to be part of the solution, not the problem. I have to lower my carbon footprint even if I still have a love affair with the combustible engine. This whole lifestyle must become unified. I have donkeys in- stead of dogs to protect my sheep; I can live better with donkey shit than dog shit.” Pepe Rochon The Art of Stamping

David Luis Leal Cortez is a writer, filmmaker and former political operative, who has worked on local, state, and national campaigns. He is from the Washington, DC area and graduated from the College of Santa Fe in Moving Image Arts. His first feature documentary, Drilling Mora County, was screened at the 2019 Santa Fe Film Festival. He is currently directing Mora Is Burning produced by Scott Campbell & American Commons Media about the Hermit’s Peak Calf Canyon fire, New Mexico’s largest wildfire. www.american-commons.org

Director:

David Leal Cortez

Year Released:

2023

Country:

U.S.A.

Length:

01:19:19

One comment

  1. I recommend this portrait of my old
    friend and compatriot of the revolutionary days we lived together. Pepe Rochon made a unique contribution to our artistic
    and social life; has lived boldly and forged his own inimitable path. He is an original. And director Cortez recognized and captured much of that strong independent spirit on film. It will “Not Fade Away”.

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