In January of 2010, Dan Glass, Alex de Campi and I went to Huautla de Jimenez to interview people about Mazatec healing rituals involving psychedelic mushrooms. We only had one contact in town, and four days to shoot. None of us were fluent in Spanish.
It was challenging to come in to that situation as an outsider, and attempt to gain enough trust for people to share their feelings about an extremely personal spiritual matter, when mushrooms are what brought swarms of other outsiders to the area for the last fifty years. We were lucky enough to encounter an extraordinary number of people who were kind enough to help us out, inviting us into their homes, introducing us to other people in town, acting as translators, and ultimately becoming our friends.
It’s been a long and difficult road to make a fair and balanced film about how the history of half a century of drug tourism in a town has changed it. And with a three person shooting team, and a two person post team, and a one person distribution team, to say we did it with a skeleton crew is kind of an understatement. But I’m pretty happy with the result, and what is more important to me, my friends in Huautla seem to be happy with it, too.
So thank you to everybody that helped make this happen. Please spread the word to anybody that might be interested in the film.
The Secret Life of Mushrooms is now available on DVD at Createspace:
Direct downloads will be available at the same url in the next week or two.
More information about the film is available at www.secretlifeof.com