dir. Ron Mann | 80 minutes | 2000 | documentary
Marijuana is the most controversial drug of the twentieth century. Smoked by generations of musicians, students, and workers to little discernible ill effect, it continues to be reviled by the vast majority of governments around the world. With his new film, Grass, veteran filmmaker Ron Mann brings his impeccable historical facility and story telling skills to recount how a relatively harmless drug has been demonized for decades.
With a rueful yet incisive script, deft editing and an impressive soundtrack featuring original songs by Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo, Pee Wee’s Playhouse) and a veritable pot-pourri of tunes ranging from the Swing Era’s “Reefer Man” through Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women” to the hippie lament “One Toke Over The Line,” Grass boasts extraordinary production values. Funny and politically scathing, Grass charts the terrible loss in imprisoned lives and billions of dollars wasted fighting a drug that refuses to go away. Narrated by Woody Harrelson.
Praise for Grass:
“A spirited, smart-alecky look at the ongoing conflict between a government that wants to eliminate pot and a public that wants to smoke it.” – Philadelphia Inquirer
“Tightly rolled with archival images chronicling 50 years of U.S. government anti-pot crusading, Grass is one heck of a good trip… a frequently funny, openly partisan look at the war on drugs.” – Variety
“…an informative, involving, even sobering advocacy film.” – Los Angeles Times
“With its pointed narrative, the film makes its case with a minimum of pushiness and a subtle nod to its crowd.” – The New York Times
“This jovial tour through changing attitudes toward cannibis is so plugged into pothead logic that the opening credits are rerun at the end.” – Entertainment Weekly