EXCLUSIVE: Alex Gibney adapts Michael Pollan’s mind-altering substance book How to Change Your Mind for Netflix.
Gibney was the executive who produced the four-part document, which was based on The New York Times bestselling author’s book, which looks at what psychedelic science teaches people about consciousness, death, addiction, depression, and transcendence.
How to Change Your Mind presented in four sections, each focusing on a different mind-altering substance: LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and mescaline.
With Pollan as a guide, viewers will travel to new frontiers of psychedelic awakening – and revisit an almost forgotten historical context – to explore this substance’s potential to heal and transform minds and cultures.
Documentation launched on July 12.
The series is directed by Emmy-nominated Alison Ellwood, who has directed films such as Laurel Canyon: Place in Time, eagle history, and Magical Journey: Ken Kesey’s Search for Kool’s Place and Lucy Walker, the Emmy-winning director, Oscar-nominated behind films like Bring Your Own Brigade and Accident Scrolls.
It is produced by Jigsaw Productions Gibney in collaboration with Tree Tree Tree. Gibney exec produces with Pollan, Walker, Stacey Offman and Richard Perello. Isaac Bolden, Julian Cautherley, Alexandra Meistrell, Evan Lerner are co-exec producers with Ellwood and Tahria Sheather producing.
Pollan is behind books like It’s Your Mind On Plants, Cooked, Food Rules, In Food Defense, Omnivorous Dilemma and Botany of Desire. Ripe adapted as a TV series streaming on Netflix and Botany of Desire and In Food Defense premiered on PBS.
Imagine Entertainment-backed Jigsaw is behind a document like Be Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Faith and Inventor: Finding Blood in Silicon Valley and series like Netflix Dirty money and Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.
Pollan said, “The current revival in psychedelic research has been the most exciting and hopeful story I have covered in my thirty years as a journalist. But depicting the powerful effects of these substances in a book is one thing, and another to evoke that experience, and its immense healing potential, on screen, as the Netflix adaptation of How to Change Your Mind has been done expertly.”
Gibney added, “I’m so excited to help bring Michael Pollan’s book to the screen. This is very important – the revelation of how some hallucinogens, once slandered, can lead to mindfulness. New science is showing that these drugs can save lives and change our minds, helping us live better lives.”