Neurons to Nirvana (2013)

  • Year: 2013
  • Released: 01 Nov 2013
  • Country: United States
  • Adwords: 1 win
  • IMDb:
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  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: English, Slovak, Czech
  • MPA Rating: N/A
  • Genre: Documentary, History, News
  • Runtime: 85 min
  • Writer: N/A
  • Director: Oliver Hockenhull
  • Cast: Lesley Ewen, Dennis J. McKenna, David Healy
  • Keywords: war on drugs, lsd, medicine, ayahuasca, psychedelics, alternative medicine,

Neurons to Nirvana Storyline

A stylish, in depth look at the renaissance in psychedelic drug research in light of current scientific, medical and cultural knowledge. The film explores these socially taboo substances as adjuncts to psychotherapy, as crucial but neglected medicines, and as technologies of consciousness. From Neurons to Nirvana: The Great Medicines features interviews with some of the world’s foremost researchers, writers, and pioneers in the growing field of psychedelic psychotherapy. These radical healers and dissenters are using everything from ancient concoctions to newly created designer molecules to the once demonized psychedelic drugs of the 1960s. They argue convincingly for the legal right to incorporate these substances into therapeutic practice.—Anonymous

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Neurons to Nirvana Movie Reviews

Great documentary, except for their disparaging comments about antidepressants

This documentary had great insights into the realities of various drugs, and I liked how they made an effort to focus on facts as opposed to fear based opinions on psychedelics. Ironically, I feel like when they mentioned antidepressants the people interviewed gave an emotion based opinion as opposed to sticking to the facts … because pharmaceutical antidepressants are produced by corporations, and the doctors and pundits in the documentary were more liberal leaning they talked about the antidepressants, ‘dampening’, and ‘hindering’ the ‘true human’ in the brain, whereas non corporate psychedelics or other non monetized drugs, they felt, helped people overcome depression through, ‘true insight’. In reality, all plants or chemicals, whether corporate or non corporate are altering brain chemistry, dampening some parts of the brain, while allowing others to flourish. Its true that using antidepressants without talk therapy can lead to relapses in depression, but if one sticks to the facts, it is clear to see that antidepressants can modulate depression allowing one to do talk therapy they never would have had the strength to do if not for the antidepressants. Crippling depressions is just that … crippling … and antidepressants can help one come to deep insights, just like other psychedelics can. Overall it is infuriating when strong conservatives are hypocritical and say all illegal drugs have no redeeming qualities or benefits, but also equally hypocritical and infuriating when far leaning liberals spout generalizations that drugs produced by pharmaceutical are just there to make money and enslave the populace by treating symptoms and make the corporations money, and dampen the human spirit through numbing out the populace. Both generalizations are not true, and the path forward to truth would be better served if the doctors and people with knowledge are vigorous in analyzing whether they are speaking with emotion or facts. Overall though, a great documentary and thought provoking.

Informative but overproduced

The documentary highlights some of the most important medical aspects of use of psychedelics. It’s extremely important to educate people in this field, for sure. The interviewees are some of the brightest minds in this field of study, it’s a pleasure to see them all participating and explaining stuff. Maybe the choice to make the documentary only one hour nine minutes long is the right one, so the writers had to focus on the very key ideas. But unfortunately the visuals are heavily overproduced to the extent of being sometimes totally incoherent, interfering and disconnected from the narrative. I understand that one needs to have some visual effects to make a story more colorful and attractive to public, but there’s a measure for it. There was no need to make it so conspiracy-looking and new age-ish at the same time.

Understanding Psychedelics as Medicines

I was deeply impressed by the breadth and depth of the interviews presented in this documentary and the amazing quality of the graphics, design and editing. Hockenhull has done a masterful job of exploring the critical importance of often “banned”psychedelic substances and the need to re-evaluate our understanding of the constructive role they can play in psychology, therapy, sociology and neuroscience.

Based on the evidence provided in Neurons to Nirvana it clear that a we need to end the war on drugs and recognize that this outdated prohibition is effectively blocking curative therapies for addiction, trauma and a host of other human suffering.

This is a comprehensive modern documentary about hugely important subject matter that needs to be seen, synthesized and discussed – by both professionals and laymen.