EXCLUSIVE: Alex Gibney is adapting Michael Pollan’s mind-altering substance book How To Change Your Mind for Netflix.
Gibney is exec producing the four-part docuseries, which is based on the New York Times best-selling author’s book, which looks at what the science of psychedelics teaches people about consciousness, dying, addiction, depression and transcendence.
How To Change Your Mind is presented in four parts, each focused on a different mind-altering substance: LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and mescaline.
With Pollan as guide, viewers will journey to the frontiers of the new psychedelic renaissance – and look back at almost-forgotten historical context – to explore the potential of these substances to heal and change minds as well as culture.
The docuseries launches on July 12.
The series is directed by Emmy-nominated Alison Ellwood, who has directed films such as Laurel Canyon: A Place in Time, History of the Eagles, and Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place and Lucy Walker, the Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated director behind films such as Bring Your Own Brigade and The Crash Reel.
It is produced by Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions in association 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 such as This Is Your Mind On Plants, Cooked, Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma
Imagine Entertainment-backed Jigsaw is behind docs such as Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief and The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley and series such as Netflix’s Dirty Money and Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.
Pollan said, “The current renaissance in psychedelic research has been the most compelling and hopeful story I’ve covered in thirty years as a journalist. But it’s one thing to describe the powerful effects of these substances in a book, and quite another to evoke that experience, and its incredible potential for healing, on the screen, as the Netflix adaptation of How to Change Your Mind has masterfully done.”
Gibney added, “I was thrilled to help bring Michael Pollan’s book to the screen. It’s so important – a revelation about how some hallucinogens, once vilified, can lead to mindfulness. New science shows that these drugs can save lives and change our minds, helping us to live better lives.”