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Watch a clip from the new feature documentary about Timothy Leary

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Showtime Documentary Films has announced a new feature documentary from Oscar(R) winning director Errol Morris (Wormwood, The Fog of War) about Timothy Leary that will premiere on SHOWTIME later this year.

A FILM BY ERROL MORRIS (working title) asks the question of 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? The film is inspired by Harcourt-Smith’s memoir, Tripping the Bardo with Timothy Leary: My Psychedelic Love Story.

In a first-look clip from the forthcoming feature, Harcourt-Smith details an early encounter with Leary, previewing an impassioned affair.

“This is a dream project,” Morris said. “I’m always looking for alternative ways into a story. You never want to go through the front door. Or even the back door. Much better to find an attic window that has been left ajar. Joanna Harcourt-Smith, who had a love affair with Timothy Leary, wrote a book detailing how they met, how they fell in love, how they took drugs together, how he ended up in prison. And then something surprising happened. I found Joanna as interesting as Timothy Leary, perhaps even more so. It was a way to tell a story about the ’70s in a powerful and unexpected way. I’m excited to be working with SHOWTIME and I can’t believe my good fortune.”

Morris is an Oscar and Emmy(R) winning director whose documentary canon includes The Fog of War, A Brief History of Time, Standard Operating Procedure, The Thin Blue Line and Gates of Heaven. In addition to his illustrious film career, Morris has directed over 1,000 television commercials, is a New York Times bestselling author and a regular contributor to the New York Times opinion pages and Op-Docs series. In addition to honors for his individual films, Morris has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship.

A FILM BY ERROL MORRIS (w/t) is being produced for SHOWTIME by Fourth Floor Productions & Moxie Pictures. Morris is executive producer, and Robert Fernandez and Steven Hathaway are producers.

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