Watch the trailer for Errol Morris’s upcoming Timothy Leary documentary

As-yet-untitled film asks why the High Priest of LSD became an FBI informant in the ’70s




Call it a real trip down memory lane.

Call it a psychedelic love story.

You can presumably call Errol Morris’s new documentary about Timothy Leary anything you want, because the veteran filmmaker (The Thin Blue Line, Gates of Heaven) doesn’t seem to have given it a title.

According to the trailer below, the doc is just called A Film by Errol Morris.

That’s almost certainly just a working title for the doc, which is based on a memoir by Joanna Harcourt-Smith. Leary, once described by President Richard Nixon as “the most dangerous man in America” thanks to his advocacy for LSD and other psychedelic drugs, was in a relationship with Harcourt-Smith between 1972 and ’77.

During that time, the controversial psychologist became an informant for the FBI in exchange for a shortened prison sentence. According to Showtime, Morris’s film “asks the question why Leary, the High Priest of LSD, became a narc in 1974 and seemingly abandoned the millions he urged to turn on, tune in and drop out.”

Was his “perfect love” Joanna Harcourt-Smith a government pawn, as suggested by Allen Ginsberg? Or was she simply a rich, beautiful, young woman out for the adventure of a lifetime? Morris and Harcourt-Smith will reexamine this chaotic period of her life and explore the mystery of the Leary saga: his period of exile, reimprisonment and subsequent cooperation with the authorities. Devotion or selfishness? Perfect love or outright betrayal? Destiny or manipulation?

Morris’s film is slated to debut on Showtime at an unspecified date later in the year.

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