The Sunshine Makers Documentary Analysis

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‘The Sunshine Makers’ is a 2015 documentary by Cosmo Feilding-Mellen, covering the fabled exploits of American clandestine LSD chemists Nick Sand and Tim Scully. Written by Connie Littlefield (who also wrote the excellent ‘Hofmann’s Potion’), the subject seems like a natural progression for Feilding-Mellen, given that he’s the son of legendary self-trepanees and counter-culturalists Amanda Feilding (artist and activist – now Lady Neidpath, heading up the Beckley Foundation) and Joe Mellen (gallery owner and author of the seminal ‘Bore Hole’). Tim Scully & Nick Sand - LSD chemistsMuch anticipated by the cognoscenti, ‘The Sunshine Makers’ (aka ‘Breaking Good: the Untold Adventures of Two Underground Psychedelic Chemists and Their Mission to Save the World One Trip at Time’) is a well-presented and warm take on a fascinating period of the underground psychedelic culture. Based around interviews with the chemists and their fellow travellers, we learn exactly what it was that…show more content…
The accused presented the defence that they had been manufacturing ALD-52 (legal at the time) rather than LSD-25, but this was not bought by the opposition. Scully was sentenced to twenty years in prison (but delayed starting this time until 1977, by which time his legal appeals had run out); Sand was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment, subsequently lodging two failed appeals. Sand’s sentence was eventually reduced to ten years, after concerted lobbying from friends and other supporters. Dosed whole prison ‘The Sunshine Makers’ is a very welcome addition to the canon, filling as it does a hole in the historical timeline and focusing some attention on these two lesser-documented luminaries of psychedelic history. Casey Hardison Darel Lemaire
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