The Substance: Albert Hofmann's LSD
In 1943, chemist Albert Hofmann accidentally came across a hitherto unknown substance in his research lab in Basel. After experimenting with it on himself, he realized that it was an extremely potent drug that alters human perception radically. Little did he know that his LSD would change the world. In the 1950s, psychiatrists started using the substance for medical purposes to decipher how the human psyche works. When the “atom bomb of the mind” found its way from the hospitals to the general public at the beginning of the 1960s, things started accelerating: LSD seemed to be made for affluent society dropouts. But at the beginning of the 1970s, the unpredictable substance landed on the black list. Today, some psychedelic substances are being used for lawful purposes for the first time. Will LSD finally become the remedy Albert Hofmann thought it was?
Martin Witz (b. 1956 in Switzerland) works as a screenwriter. His credits include three movies directed by Christoph Schaub, "Wendel" (1987), "Dreissig Jahre" (1989), selected at the Locarno Festival, and "At the End of the Night" (1992), selected at Cannes, as well as "Filou" (1988) by Samir and Fosco and Donatello Dubini’s "Ludwig 1881" (1993), both screened in the International Competition at Locarno. Later he turned to documentary, writing "Noel Field" (1997) and "Von Werra" (2000), both by Werner Schweizer. Concurrently working as an editor and sound recorder, he has also directed documentaries for Arte, such as "Malaria" (2002) and "Dutti der Riese" (2007).
Selected filmography: "Malaria" (2002, doc, short), "Dutti der Riese" (2007, doc), "The Substance" (2011, doc, "Kino pavasaris").
- Year: 2011
- Country: Switzerland
- Runtime: 90 min.
- Director: Martin Witz
- Screenwriter: Martin Witz
- Producer: Martin Witz
- Cinematographer: Pio Corrad
- Company: Autlook Entertainment
- Dialogs: English, German
- Subtitles: Lithuanian, English
- Classification: N-16
- IMDB rating: 6.9