Better Living Through Chemistry

High Minded


Film Info
Country Listing:Canada
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Connie Littlefield


Could magic mushrooms, LSD and ecstasy be the next frontier of therapeutic medicine? On a farm near Berkeley, California, Sasha and Ann Shulgin—the “godparents of MDMA”—were searching for the answer to that very question, carrying out key research, development and lay therapy in the 1970s. Now, after decades of being maligned and misunderstood during the U.S. federal government’s “war on drugs,” psychedelics are undergoing a renaissance in the medical community. As more and more researchers tune in to psychedelics’ potential to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, addiction and more, some are calling it the biggest potential advancement in mental health since Prozac. A Better Living Through Chemistry brings the Shulgins’ chemical love story into focus with an intimate tour of the couple’s life and laboratory. Spiritual and thought-provoking, this doc is an exploration of skepticism, science and the extraordinary potential of mind-altering substances.

Join director Connie Littlefield for a special post-screening Q&A, moderated by Hot Docs programmer Aisha Jamal.

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Presented in partnership with MAPS Canada.

Part of our High Minded screening series, featuring the biggest-thinking, most visually profound and psychedelic documentary cinema.

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