A BRIEF HISTORY OF PSYCHOACTIVE PLANTS AND WHY YOU CAN’T HAVE ANY

SHORT TREATMENT
This one-hour documentary will focus on the rise and fall of psychedelic research in the U.S.

After many years the research is starting up again. How? Why? What will we learn about consciousness?

We start the video in the remote highlands of Mexico where a shaman conducts a sacred healing ceremony with the help of magic mushrooms. Throughout the video we will return to the ceremony where we observe how the shaman has learned to, honor and listen to the sacred mushroom.

We will tell the research story by examining 3 time periods:

Part 1–50s-60s – Research
The research that was done in the fifties and sixties using psychedelics and the excitement of the scientific community about these new tools for research and healing. How the brain works when affected by these substances.

Part 2–60s-The Ban
In early seventies research was halted. A deconstruction of how the laws were passed and an examination of the government position — not only in the Congress but at the FDA and NIDA– for and against these substances.

Part 3–70s to now- After a Moratorium, Research begins again.
During the 70s and 80s there was no research conducted. Due to the efforts of a few, and in spite of recalcitrant governments, both here and abroad, a limited number of new studies have been launched. How did this happen and what does the research show?

In the process we will examine the nature & history of expanded consciousness:
—- Where does consciousness come from anyway?
—- Is it like a radio transmitter or radio receiver? Or both? Or neither?
—- Is it just chemistry?

And we will explore mysticism & its kinship with hallucinogenic states in ancient times and today. We will include the Native American Church and the UDV church, each of which has government permission to use psychoactive plants as sacrament.

What’s the future? Pfizer puts magic mushrooms in a prescription pill? Psychedelic spas?

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF THE DIRECTOR

Nell Cox started making films in New York in the sixties as an editor, worked for now legendary documentary filmmakers Richard Leacock, Don Pennebaker, Bob Drew, Al and David Maysles. During this period she edited many documentaries, some of which (for Time-Life Broadcast) were aired on ABC in prime time. Subsequently she produced and directed many award winning documentaries for her own company, Nell Cox Films, Inc.

She lived in Los Angeles for a number of years where she directed many prime time dramas including “M*A*S*H,” “Lou Grant,” “The Waltons” and “L.A. Law.” While in Los Angeles she also wrote a number of feature film screenplays.

As a director she is also known for her award winning PBS dramas, including “Ghostwriter” (pilot for Children’s Television Workshop series),“The Roommate,” “Konrad,” and a women’s western, “Liza’s Pioneer Diary,” (“Outstanding.” Los Angeles Times, “Beautifully lean and compelling.” New York Times) which she also produced and wrote.

Nell Cox returned to the east coast to direct a feature film “Hudson River Blues,” a romantic comedy that takes place in and around New York.

Subsequently she has returned to her documentary roots directing a “Great Performance” (PBS) about the Broadway musical “Jelly’s Last Jam,” about the jazz great Jelly Roll Morton, and a PBS biography of Pulitzer prizewinning playwright Marsha Norman. Last year she made an historical documentary about one of Kentucky’s founding fathers, John Brown.

She has just completed a one-hour cinema verite, fly on-the-wall documentary about the Kentucky Legislature, “Statecraft.” She is currently in production on a documentary about Expanded Consciousness and the scientific, legal and spiritual history of psychedelics in the U.S.

NELL COX FILMS, INC.
~since 1968~
862 WEST END AVENUE
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10025
212.865.6733
nellfcox@aol.com
cell: 917-921-9150

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