81 rue Réaumur
75002 Paris
Art, Drugs & Fantasy , a documentary film by Jérôme de Missolz. 55' & 58'

Produced by Laurence Uebersfeld

People have taken drugs since time immemorial.

Ancient writings describe how opium and hashish were used in China and Mesopotamia for therapeutic, religious and even political purposes. Later, Christianity declared them sinful and drugs became the symbol of lust and satanic rites. In the 19th Century, artists and poets of the Romantic Movement began to use opium, laudanum and hashish to reach that "altered state" they dreamed of. From then on, the history of the Arts features numerous young rebels, anxious to experiment with all types of hallucinogenic substances to escape from the straightjacket of bourgeois morality and the trials of the human condition.

Many artists, writers and poets have transposed something of the wonder of these "artificial paradises" into their work. They go from Mary Shelley, Bret Easton Ellis and Poe to Berlioz, Cocteau, Michaux, Huxley, Burroughs and Lou Reed. The documentary, « Art, Drugs & Fantasy » will paint a vast fresco, using a range of different filmic resources, to propose an innovative view of the role played by drug-use in two centuries of Art.

How have drugs inspired the ideas and imaginations of artists?

The first episode « The quest of another world » deals with a kind of « golden age of artificial paradises », from Romantics to Surrealists.

The second episode « The Great wild dance » starts right after the WWII with hallucinogenic experiences of artists like Huxley, Michaux and the Beat Generation, who have brought the psychedelic revolution, a period of drug access democratization and bring us to contemporary artists.

Extract of the film   Teaser
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A coproduction

Lufilms / Arte

With the support of



Festivals / Official selection