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Exciting times for psychedelics

Excuse cheesy joke, I just couldn't help myself. We were on fringes and frowned upon, but landscape slowly changes. Psychedelics are slowly becoming a real alternative to being on antidepressants for a whole life. People go soul searching and experience spiritual breakthroughs once reserved for a lucky few. Under the supervision of therapists, deep healing happens.

War on drugs is definitely still happening. Psychedelics won't become legal in any near future. Denver, Colorado, and Oakland decriminalized nature mind-expanding plants. Still, the rest of the world is way behind, and they won't catch up soon.

Still, it's a terrific occasion to broaden your knowledge about this enigmatic substances. They are something different, they don't bring the experience you want, but the one you need. They help to look deep inside yourself and break harmful patterns.

I hope you survived intro. Let's get down into business, the ultimate list of psychedelic documentaries. I split them into different categories, hope you will like the format.

Screm
Photo by Cristian Newman / Unsplash

Let's get emotional

Deserved for documentaries that touch the heart. I advise buying tissues beforehand.

From Shock to Awe - 2018 - 1h 27m

This documentary is close to my heart. Participants are fighting PTSD, and you see how hard it is for them. I was furious at myself that I couldn't drop a tear during the film. It has so many relatable characters, shows the daily struggles of people with PTSD, and has many moving moments. Someone wrote on my Facebook page that veterans are monsters who destroy people's lives and bring this on themselves.

Dear commenter,

Some people go to the army because of a lack of options. They believe in serving their country, they are clueless about how bad it really is. It's a fault of the system that brainwashes others into thinking that attacking foreign soil is a solution,

Where to watch: https://www.fromshocktoawe.com/

Dosed - 2019 - 1h 22m

The end quote of the trailer gave me goosebumps.

Sometimes, the scariest thing to do is take the dose.

Step into the shoes of someone deep into heroin addiction. It's easy to see that someone is replacing one drug with another. This is not the case. It's a fight for survival. It's a fight that your parents don't have to watch your funeral. I didn't understand the problem of addiction before this documentary. I thought I did, but seeing someone goes through the whole process to take a big step back made me realize the magnitude of the problem.

Where to watch: https://www.dosedmovie.com/

The Last Shaman - 2016 - 1h 17m

James is hopeless, filled with depression, completely lost. He hit ultimate crossroads, either this crazy thing will heal me, or I am killing myself. This documentary does an excellent job of showing how ayahuasca tourism rising affects indigenous people, and tourists search for the cure. There are many charlatans out there, and this movie is honest. Ayahuasca is not a magic answer to everything. It's just the start of a more significant healing journey.

Where to watch: Netflix

Trip of compassion - 2017 - 1h 23m

If you still don't believe in MDMA's healing power, then this movie is highly recommended. The action happens in Israel, and you can see the progress of three people taking part in MDMA assisted psychotherapy. We have a rare glimpse at how sessions with psychedelics look like. This documentary is authentic to the bone. Camera. Therapists. Real human emotions.

Where to watch: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/tripofcompassion

I’m not sure what I said to this Icelandic horse which was so amusing, maybe i was horsing around? We had just spent some time catching the last of the light over Kirkjufell before catching up with the locals.
Photo by Dan Cook / Unsplash

Comedy

Why so serious? We are talking about drugs, but sometimes adding a little humor is not bad.

Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics - 2020 ‧  1h 25m

The psychedelic scene missed this kind of piece. It's a perfect mix of entertainment with education. That's a hard task to achieve, but the authors succeeded. The documentary is rich with colorful trip reports and even bad trips. Jokes are pretty much always on point. One problem I saw was that some trip reports sounded like drunk stories and dangerous endeavors, driving under the influence, taking risky decisions.

Where to watch: Netflix

Psychonautics: A comic's exploration of psychedelics - 2018 - 1h 21m

Another funny one in the bunch of serious about the human condition. Shaun is a comedian with bipolar depression and a real enthusiast of mind-altering substances. It's obvious how big the effect drugs had on his life. They became a source for his comedic material. There are sections about DMT, MDMA, MUSHROOMS, LSD, KETAMINE. It ends with a precautionary tale that psychedelic could push you over the edge if you have a tendency for manic states.

Where to watch: https://www.psychonauticsfilm.com/

The Goop Lab With Gwyneth Paltrow: Mushroom retreat episode - 2020

If there is one documentary I would suggest to skip, it would definitely be that one. It's cringy to an extreme extent, feels like it was a deliberate decision. The show is feeding on emotions like an emotional vampire. Information about risks is missing, only one side of the coin is shown. Other episodes are not about psychedelics, the overall tone stays the same through the series. Bad advertising for mushroom retreats.

Where to watch: Netflix

Situated in a fully refurbished, gigantic Power Plant, Kultuurikatel aka Tallinn Creative Hub is a non-profit foundation and cultural organisation in Tallinn, Estonia.

More > https://www.instagram.com/valentinsalja
Shot by https://www.instagram.com/jelena.jaranovic
Photo by Valentin Salja / Unsplash

Thought-provoking

For thinkers out there that like to be mentally stimulated. How can psychedelics change the world? Is it even remotely possible? Is our world fair?

Journeys To The Edge Of Consciousness - 2019 - 1h 27m

Three extraordinary men. Three journeys inside the mind that changed everything. Three books you will want to order after watching this documentary. Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, Alan Watts shaped the psychedelic community, and their impact still makes waves. These are nothing like trip reports you read online on Erowid. This is you watching psychedelic revolution taking place during its early years, just before Richard Nixon war on drugs.

Where to watch: https://www.journeysmovie.com/

Dying to Know: Timothy Leary and Ram Dass - 2014 - 1h 39m

Robert Redford is the narrator in that one, makes the experience much better. Timothy Leary was a very controversial individual, who become enemy number one, his message was strong enough to get locked. All in the quest of spirituality.

Where to watch: Amazon

Reconnect The Movie - 2020 - 1h 28m

Hot off the Youtube press, Real London documentary. If you like his style of videos, you will love this one. It's about the healing power of ayahuasca. Dan Pena is the antagonist of this story - focused on material things, chasing money, coaching thousands of people his way. It's a wake-up call message. Look at our society, we get weirder and weirder each year. As a programmer, it's a tough pill to swallow that technology sometimes stands in the way of real progress.

Where to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skkUo8Lgiu0

Terence Mckenna's True Hallucinations - 2016 - 2h 49m

Terrence McKenna is genius, there is a reason he is my avatar. He is a visionary who had major slips like Time Wave Zero theory. Still, nonetheless, his brilliant mind is seen in full glory during this documentary. Highly recommended for McKenna fans.

Where to watch: Youtube

Photo by Behnam Norouzi / Unsplash

History

Want to know how the story of psychedelics? There is no better way than with this exciting documentaries.

Orange sunshine - 2016 - 1h 45m

The story of LSD is exciting. It started with a famous bike ride. Get deep into the history of Brotherhood of Eternal Love, young people with a mission, and eccentric characters they met along the way.

Where to watch: Amazon

The Sunshine Makers - 2015 ‧ 1h 41m

Now you can see how Orange Sunshine was born (potent LSD). It's more of a traditional documentary, going through the story linearly. I need to warn you, have your remote close by when Nick Sand drops his clothes. If you see it, you will know what I meant.

Where to watch: Netflix

The Substance: Albert Hofmann's LSD - 2011 - 1h 30m

Take a ride with a bike, they said. What worst can happen? Neighbour is turning into a witch, feelings of impending doom, out of body experience. This is a tale of Albert Hoffman's problem child LSD-25. Story of the first modern psychedelic drug being born and hero behind it.

Where to watch: Amazon

Peyote To LSD: A Psychedelic Odyssey -  2008 - 1h 40m

You rarely see something of this level of quality on History Channel.  This TV special focuses on ethnobotanist Richard Evan Schultes, but it's also a good history lesson of psychedelics.

Where to watch: Amazon

Magic Trip: Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place - 2011 - 1h 47m

Real footage of the glory days of psychedelics, probably could be turned into one of the longest films in the history but was condensed at slightly above 90 minutes. Road trip across America with psychedelic being the centerpiece.

Where to watch: http://www.magpictures.com/magictrip/

Spirituality in my mind
Photo by Moodywalk / Unsplash

Spiritual

The psychedelics, in essence, trigger visionary states, and you feel closer to God than ever.

The Reality of Truth - 2016 - 1h 24m

The film looks at a spiritual adventure, starring Michelle Rodriguez (Fast and Furious). Unfortunately has a new age feel to it, documentary Thrive has a segment with Illuminati graphics. Michelle is talking about her griefing period after Paul Walker's death and how ayahuasca helped her to deal with existential pain.  In my opinion, worth watching for the part about Ibogaine. The story of an addict really touches the heart. You won't see it coming.

Where to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sKQAcXWku8

Psychedelica on Gaia -  14 episodes

I have a weird relationship with Gaia, I had a trial subscription to just watch this show, and I liked it. On the other hand, I can't stand most of their shows. Maybe I am not enough spiritual yet, but they feel really cringy.

Back to the show, it has psychedelic celebrities in it. Spiritual episodes are quite tough to get through, I hate bullshit. I recommend episodes: DMT: Revolution of Consciousness, Cacti: Indigenous Medicine of the Mind, The Shadow Side of Psychedelics

Where to watch: Gaia

Shamans of the Amazon – A Timeless Journey - 2016 - 53m

Who are the shamans of the Amazon? What is their relationship to natural psychedelic plants? If you are into shamanic culture, you will be pleased. Rick Strassman, author of DMT: Spirit Molecule,  makes an appearance.

Where to watch: Amazon

Manifesting the Mind - 2h

The film focused heavily on shamanism. It goes over many processes that you can use to enter an altered state of consciousness.  Psychedelics are shown as shamanic medicines. Many exciting speakers are talking about mind-altering substances. There is an interesting angle in this documentary, the spiritual experience shouldn't be available to just a few.

Where to watch: Youtube/Order from Amazon

Manna – Psilocybin Mushroom Inspired documentary - 2003 - 55m

The documentary focuses on our broken bond with nature and how psilocybin mushrooms could help us heal it. If you are a fan of psilocybin mushrooms' healing properties and want to delve into its history, this one's for you. It feels kinda old now, but the message still holds ground.

Where to watch: Youtube

Other Worlds - 2004 - 1h 30m

This one is about shamanism and visiting different worlds, speaking with ancestors. The documentary points out the risks going beyond the normal realm of existence. If you want to see the shadow side of psychedelics, this one is a must. Did you know that Aleister Crowley, the most prominent black magician of the XX century, used psychedelics in his ceremonies? This guy was so freaky.

Where to watch: Youtube

Entheo:genesis: Awakening The Divine Within - 2007 - 1h 19m

Another one that stops you in your tracks, we are destroying our planet, but used to it similarly to current COVID-19, becoming desensitized. It's exciting to live in times where spiritual experiences are repeatable, now we are closer to religion meeting science.

Where to watch: Vimeo

Ibogaine: Rite of Passage - 2004 - 50m

Look close at Ibogaine, first known substance to stop opiates withdrawal, last chance for addicts to feel normal again. It focuses on the healing power of the plant.

Where to watch: https://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/play/11554/Ibogaine---Rite-of-Passage

Photo by Halacious / Unsplash

Science

Are you interested in the science of psychedelics? I couldn't think of better films to get down into nitty-gritty.

Hamilton's Pharmacopeia - 2016 - 2 seasons

To be honest, this is my favorite series. I feel like I am a mix of Terrence McKenna and Hamilton, philosophy with striving to understand substances and how they work in the brain. Hamilton is an unusual character. Some people can't bare how he behaves in front of the camera, his stiff moves. Still, there is something in his show that makes it extremely entertaining for me. Maybe it's how he pushes for a deeper understanding of mind-altering substances, or how much works he puts into making episodes.

Hamilton is breaking cliches that no one would even touch like PCP is the worst drug ever, it transforms you into an aggressive mess, it turns out it's not always the case. The traveling parts are also crazy interesting.

You can find some free episodes on Youtube, to get a feel for a series. Did you know that HIV drug has psychedelic properties?

Where to watch: Hulu

A New Understanding: Science Of Psilocybin - 2015 - 55m

I watched it before it became free with last year's version. Just in 2019, psilocybin got 'Breakthrough Therapy' status for Severe Depression. This is a second substance from the psychedelic family that got that status, MDMA acquired it before. The movie focuses on terminally ill patients, tabu of thinking about your death, and how to deal with anxiety caused by Grim Reaper knocking on your doors. Enter psilocybin, and it's power for facing the inevitable.

Where to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIVIfQaqVG4

DMT: The Spirit Molecule - 2010 - 1h 13m

A modern classic, but still prefer the book. It's an account of famous experiments conducted by Rick Strassman. If you are interested in one of the most intense psychedelics in the world, then it's the right choice. Features Joe Rogan as a host and many of the participants from the original study. DMT is a unique drug with almost zero tolerance. It happens to be present in human bodies, but the pineal gland hypothesis is not well supported. Explore one of the most significant psychedelic research that ever took place.

Where to watch: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/dmttsm

Neurons to Nirvana - 2013 - 1h 25m

If you are new into the psychedelic community, this gives you solid fundamentals. You will be able to engage in meaningful conversations with fellow psychonauts. Most popular substances are covered in an interesting manner (LSD, MDMA, Cannabis, Ayahuasca, Psilocybin).  The movie is more scientific than most documentaries in the list, and psychedelic figures appear like Stanislav Grof, Dennis McKenna, Rick Doblin.

Where to watch: Amazon

Dirty pictures - 2010 - 1h 30m

I would give a lot for a picture with Alexander Shulgin. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2014. It's hard not to be a fan of his work, he brought MDMA mainstream, discovered 2cb. He was a modern alchemist, mad scientist, and it's hard to believe he did this all in-home laboratory. Shulgin sees the power of psychedelics in looking at yourself from a distance. Single-handedly he discovered 200 compounds. Just imagine the amount of work and dedication required to do this. If you want to see the genius behind TiKHAL and PiKHAL, this documentary is a good match.

Where to watch: Youtube

Fantastic Fungi - 2020 - 1h 21m

A lot of work went into delivering impressive visuals you can see in the movie. Many frames are so perfect that you want to print them and hang them above your bed. It's not only about psychedelic mushrooms but about the fantastic fungi world beneath our feet. This is a jam-packed information documentary.

Where to watch: https://fantasticfungi.com/

Hallucinogenic Honey Hunters - 2011 - 27m

A short documentary about mad honey: yep, there is psychedelic honey out there. Mildly interesting.

Where to watch: Youtube

Hope you liked the list.

Best regards,

PTSD Engineer