Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Woody Harrelson, Harry J. Anslinger, George Bush, Cab Calloway, Jimmy Carter
Director: Ron Mann
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Grass, narrated by actor/activist Woody Harrelson, takes a highly spirited and innovative look into one of America's most deeply rooted cultural myths: the evils of "pot", "cannabis", "weed", "dubich", "doobie", "shrub", o... more »
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Good Docu, GREAT Visuals!
K. Brown | Walnut, Ca USA | 03/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, this documentary is an unashamed pro salute to the spidery green hoppy-plant. It is also a very good one, and spotlights the most ludricrous arguments against decriminilization of the wacky weed. This film explains how early 20th century lawmakers used every tool from racial and ethnic prejudice, intimidation, exaggeration, and censorship in order to portray marijuana as an extremely dangerous drug. There is fascinating film footage covering New York's Mayor LaGuardia's unbiased six year study on the effects of marijuana, and the subsequent efforts of narcotic agent Anslinger's efforts to silence the findings.Art direction by underground art legend Paul Mavrides, and visual editing by David Biedny deserves mention because this flick is awesome to watch. The animation and graphics riddling the video throughout are a very hep work of art in itself.In summary, this video is propaganda for fans of grass. If you want a truly balanced general view of drug laws in the United States, look for The History Channel's recent documentary series. But whether you are pro or anti pot, and are focused enough to analyze both sides of the argument, this film is mandatory viewing for the documented facts and the newsreel footage alone, some of which I have not seen elsewhere."
Hey dude, pass the..er- videotape!
D. Hartley | Seattle, WA USA | 11/21/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Unique, well-produced documentary dealing (no pun intended) with the history of marijuana criminalization in the United States. Far from a dry history lesson, the film takes a Michael Moore-style approach-building its own "counter-myth" by exposing the hypocrisy of the anti-marijuana propaganda machine over the years, from the 1930's infamous "Reefer Madness" movie to the Reagan administration's sophmoric "Just Say No" media campaign of the 1980's. There is also a fascinating on-going tally of all the tax money the government's various law-enforcement agencies have wasted attempting to eradicate marijuana usage since the days of Elliott Ness. The film's masterful use of well-chosen period music, hilariously ironic film clips and outstanding sound editing recalls the award winning 80's documentary about the Cold War, "The Atomic Cafe". Actor Woody Harrelson (who's had his own infamous, herb-related off-screen legal problems) does a bang-up job with the narration. Even if you disagree with the politics, you're likely to find this one quite informative and "highly" (er-sorry!) entertaining."
Grass DVD Review
Xam | nyc | 02/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This awesome documentary looks at the prohibition against cannabis/hemp/marijuana in the US. The movie is composed entirely of historical footage, and chronicles the beginning of the war against marijuana up to the present. It shows the true racist beginnings of the first laws against marijuana. There's alot of footage of Harry Anslinger's massive propaganda campaign, which is truly laughable now. The movie is quite funny, this is because all the government propaganda against pot has been so ridiculous and exaggerated over the years ("If you smoke it, you will go INSANE and KILL people!"). The movie shows how the public and media's attitude changed about pot, but the government failed to respond to ever-growing legalization demands. You're also presented the monetary figures on the war against marijuana over the years, it increases dramatically (till this very day). Mann picked the best parts of old films and newsreels, and used nice collage techniques to link them together, which makes the movie very enjoyable to watch. Along with the incredible soundtrack, which is mostly old pot songs with some cool original tracks (like the opening credit music). There are even some really cool animations, and to top it off, Woody Harrelson does a nice job of narrating.The DVD includes a few extras, but nothing to get very excited about. The creator of Grass, Ron Mann, has a short interview where he comes across as being very stoned. A deleted opening sequence is also included, which is interesting but not that great. I was excited about the High Times magazine gallery, thinking it was gonna be every single High Times cover ever printed! Unfortunately they only included about 25 covers, which is disappointing (they could have easily included every cover). NORML provided a state-by-state marijuana legal reference guide (you can choose which state to read about), this turned out to be the best extra feature. High-definition transfer for 16x9 televisions and dolby digital is always nice too. Overall I really love this DVD, mainly because the movie is so great. The DVD picture and sound quality is good, and the extras are decent. I HIGHLY recommend picking this one up."
Anyechka | Rensselaer, NY United States | 03/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an amazing, fascinating, visually stimulating documentary about the campaign that American politicians and propagandists waged against marijuana in the 20th century. It's shocking to see just how many billions of dollars had been spent on this so-called "war" by the end of the Nineties. All that fuss over a harmless plant that scientific studies have shown really is not the dangerous evil drug many people are led to believe it is. There are lots of great clips from vintage movies, commercials, press conferences, and concert performances to illustrate all of the points being talked about. For someone with an open mind, this could go a long way towards dispelling a lot of the myths about marijuana. One by one, this documentary goes through the myths (e.g., it's a gateway drug, it will make you into a sexual predator, it'll make you lose your mind, it will make you fly into violent rages, it will wreak havoc on your brain) and counters them, using scientific studies and conversations with people who actually used the drug. Of course, the people making up the anti-marijuana propaganda and scare tactics had never actually smoked pot themselves and had no idea what they were talking about. And like with all members of the old guard who protest against what young people are doing, a lot of it could have very well stemmed from how when they were young people, they had fewer choices about their lives and less opportunity to do these things. It could have been jealousy that their children suddenly had much more personal freedom to do so many things that were considered taboo and a shameful social stigma in days of yore. We also see how the pot-smoking culture changed from decade to decade; early in the 20th century, they were mainly Mexican immigrants as opposed to how most of them in the Sixties were hippies and university students. And indeed, the campaign against marijuana started because of racist nativist xenophobic fears about the Mexican immigrants coming into the country and bringing a strange way of life and a new cigarette with them. The establishment thought that if white people started smoking it too, they would "devolve" into people like the Mexicans, who were thought to be inferior. This documentary presents facts that get the message across without sounding preachy. Anyone with a sense of social justice should feel outraged that so much fuss has been made over what is really just a simple little plant, and that anyone who is caught smoking or possessing it is treated like a moral degenerate and socially dangerous criminal."