2007 | USA, Canada, Ecuador, Mexico, Switzerland | Documentary,Feature

Peyote to LSD- A Psychedelic Odyssey (Doorway to the Gods)

  • English 90 mins
  • Director | Peter von Puttkamer
  • Writer | Peter von Puttkamer, Wade Davis
  • Producer | Peter von Puttkamer, Sheera von Puttkamer, Wade Davis

This film is currently not available.   

Peyote to LSD: A Psychedelic Odyssey (also known as Doorway to the Gods) features  National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Author and Harvard ethnobotanist Wade Davis.  Loosely based on chapters from Davis’s book- One River, this is the story of the last great Explorer-Botanist of the 20th century: Richard Evans Schultes.  One of the world’s foremost authorities on hallucinogenic plants, he forged a trail from the Peyote rituals of the American Southwest to Mexican magic mushroom ceremonies to the Amazonian rainforest: he uncovered some of the most exotic drugs ever discovered by man.  His work inspired William Burroughs, Leary and others, giving birth to the psychedelic sixties. 

The film also looks at the re-discovery of Schultes’ research into Aztec Flesh of the Gods (mushrooms) by JP Morgan banker Gordon Wasson,  the creation of hallucinogens in the lab (LSD)- by Albert Hoffman, the CIA’s involvement in using these mind-expanding drugs in human experiments and the role Timothy Leary played in selling hallucinogens to the hippie generation.

Led and co-written by Schultes protege Wade Davis, this documentary is a modern-day adventure trip, retracing the routes that Schultes took- among indigenous peoples and sometimes into dark, exotic dangerous places.  Working with shamans and cultural leaders, the filmmakers had unique and exclusive access to rarely/never before filmed authentic ceremonies amongst indigenous peoples.  The film also co-stars Grateful Dead co-founder Bob Weir (who supplied some soundtrack music), Dr. Andrew Weil and many luminaries from the world of hallucingenic history & study.   The film is Directed by Peter von Puttkamer, an award-winning filmmaker who has worked with Native American & indigenous communities globally, created wildlife adventure films, and worked in music, civil rights,  science, invention  and cryptozoology. He's produced series and specials for Discovery Channel, BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Sony Pictures, History Channel, and ITV.

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