Few movies showcase filmmaking’s capacity as a force for good as well as Dosed.
The powerful debut documentary by Tyler Chandler finds the director seeking to help his longtime friend Adrianne kick addiction through psychedelics after traditional rehab, therapy and medications have failed to make a lasting change.
On-camera confessionals recounting her multiple relapses, suicidal thoughts and fears of winding up on Vancouver’s streets convincingly amplify the make-or-break nature of Adrianne getting clean. And once psilocybin mushrooms and the potent African herb iboga are introduced as possible solutions, Chandler wisely loops in various experts to speak on the benefits and dangers of these illegal drugs.
(And yes, Fantastic Fungi fanatics: Paul Stamets does indeed make an appearance.)
Encouraging as these efforts are, the filmmaking is far from exceptional and occasionally borders on clunky. But the storytelling is so strong that it compensates for these technical shortcomings. Chandler’s warts-and-all approach makes it practically impossible to root against Adrianne — even as she struggles to accept the aid given to her at nearly every turn — and presents addiction in a sympathetic yet honest manner that doesn’t shy away from its complexities.
Though it’s somewhat strange that the seemingly vanity-free Adrianne would allow her journey to be filmed, the sense of support and accountability from Chandler, her parents, psychedelic professionals and the filmmaking process are evident, as well as the unspoken sense that her saga could prove beneficial to others.
Whether or not the endeavor is a success is something that viewers must discover on their own, but regardless of Adrianne’s outcome, Dosed triumphs by raising numerous provocative questions that should get even the most stubborn Big Pharma proponents thinking about the viability of mainstream treatment methods.
Available to rent starting Oct. 9 via fineartstheatre.com and grailmoviehouse.com