I just watched the The Sunshine Makers documentary. The 2015 flick tells the story of two idealistic young men in the 1960′s. The pair couldn’t be more different, but they both shared a common goal: to manufacture and distribute a massive amount of LSD, thoroughly convinced that the insights provided by the drug would create a kind of mass enlightenment that would change the world. You might not have heard of Nicholas Sand and Tim Scully, but The Sunshine Makers takes viewers on a tour of the 1960′s acid underground to meet the psychedelic pioneers at Timothy Leary’s East Coast Millbrook retreat, clear to California where the Grateful Dead, the Hells Angels and legendary acid manufacturer Owsley Stanley make San Francisco the acid capital of the world. Here’s a bit from VICE…
Acid made me want to devote myself to my life, but when chemists Nick Sand and Tim Scully first took it it made them want to devote their lives to the drug. For them, it wasn’t dissolution—it was a mission. “We thought LSD was going to change the world,” explains Sand in the new film The Sunshine Makers, which premieres at the DOC NYC festival this Wednesday. “By opening people’s minds, everyone would experience such a sense of love as to bring about world peace.”
Sand’s first LSD experience bordered on the biblical. As he recounts on camera: “I was with friends at a lakeside retreat in [upstate] New York. I sat in front of a fire, nude, in the lotus position. I just wanted to be naked. I didn’t want to be encumbered by clothing. And then I went much further than that and disappeared. I was floating in this immense, vast space, and a voice shot through me. It said, ‘Your job on this planet is to make psychedelics and turn on the world.’”
Three thousand miles away in San Francisco, and sans the voice of God, Scully was struck by a similar thought: “As we were coming down I felt fresh and new. The smells of flowers and trees were intense. I thought: [I] could make this stuff and give it away to anyone who wanted to be turned on .”
The flick just started streaming on Netflix and I’ll be publishing a review in The Contributor next week. If you don’t have Netflix the movie is also showing on YouTube.