Ram Dass and Timothy Leary shared an epic friendship that spanned decades and shaped a generation. Gay Dillingham’s intimate portrait celebrates these two very complex, controversial characters tracking them from the early 1960s when as Harvard psychology professors they began probing the vast realms of consciousness through their experiments with psychedelics. Timothy Leary became the LSD guru, challenging convention, questioning authority and spawning a global counter culture movement – “Turn on, tune in, drop out” – This all before landing in prison after President Richard Nixon branded him “the most dangerous man in America”. Meanwhile, Alpert journeyed to the East becoming Ram Dass, a spiritual teacher who continues in his 80’s to teach service through compassion. Spanning 50 years, the film invites us into the future encouraging us to ponder questions about life, drugs & the biggest mystery of all: death.
19 years in the making, the film re-assesses the lives of these two iconic figures through the lens of their work, successes and failures, collaboration, and their divergent paths. When Timothy Leary faces death, he reaches out to Ram Dass to come keep him company as he embarks on his most remarkable trip. Together as friends, collaborators and individuals these luminaries of social change became two sides of a coin, the mind and the heart of a generation.
(US/ 2015 / Directed by Gay Dillingham)