From its opening aside to its final credits, Dosed: The Trip of a Lifetime demands to be taken seriously. More than that, it implores audiences, young and old, to embrace their fears — to love, to hope, and eventually, to evolve. Directed by Tyler Chandler and Nicholas Meyers, a true-to-life documentary such as this is a lesson in the powers of human belief.
Cathartic, grief-ridden, and inspiring, this kaleidoscopic journey through one woman’s struggles with mortality is as tear-jerking as it is inspiring. Chronicling the life of Canadian Laurie Brooks, the film sheds light on psychedelics as an effective cancer cure. Brooks finds herself battling an aggressive form of colon cancer. In an attempt to cope with her oncoming death, she turns to psilocybin mushrooms as a way to combat her emerging fears.
After the fact, we find a woman not hampered by disease but a mother excited for her children. Yearning for the past, looking toward the future. Along the way, professionals, scientific or otherwise, are interviewed to share their thoughts on alternative medicines — and the tools we all could use to embrace the trauma of our lives. Unconventional practices have the power to expand our minds, produce those “Ah-ha!” moments, and heal. The documentary is at its best when the family unit is employed as an example of those possibilities when spirituality challenges our concepts of Westernized culture.
“…mushrooms, marijuana, psychedelics, or psilocybin are only a backdrop for the real story: the human spirit against terrifying adversity.”
Where Dosed: The Trip of a Lifetime sets itself apart comes by way of its inoffensive, informative structure. As a film, it aims to teach yet simultaneously attempts to remove a stigma that’s existed for over fifty years. Heavily regulated and hard to find, the subject’s journey into the world of magic mushrooms is not an easy one and, ironically — takes viewers on, well, a trip. However, mushrooms, marijuana, psychedelics, or psilocybin are only a backdrop for the real story: the human spirit against terrifying adversity.
The subject of death looms large throughout, and as inescapable as it appears, it is conquered with undeniable poise. What is real? What is experience? Why are we here? These are all questions that the film articulates beautifully and keeps our thoughts (and hearts) reeling long after it all comes to a close. During its ninety-minute run, we see a family discover its strength and a woman regain her confidence. Unbreakable, undaunted, and unafraid. Although following some of the practices we’ve come to expect from documentary filmmaking, Chandler and Meyers use sweeping aerial shots and compelling representative visuals to go beyond general convention.
Will Brooks’ commitment to her newfound ideals ends up saving her life? Can a death sentence turn into a catalyst for change? By implementing the methods on display, is she able to beat her cancer into remission? In Dosed: The Trip of a Lifetime, we see someone contextualize their human experience, which allows us to do the same. It also lets us understand an irrefutable fact of life: you don’t have to change the world of others.
"…demands to be taken seriously. More than that, it implores audiences young and old to embrace their fears..."