CPH:DOX Review: My Psychedelic Love Story

Timothy Leary and Joanna Harcourt-Smith

When you look back at the past, with hindsight, some things make little or no sense. That could be said about the American government’s relationship with Timothy Leary. Once described by President Nixon as “the most dangerous man in America”, the writer and psychologist spent the 1960s and 1970s professing the virtues of free love. His experimentations with LCD made him a legendary figure in the psychedelic movement.

However, he was not alone on his journey. During the latter part of this period, he was joined by a beautiful young woman, Joanna Harcourt-Smith, who became his girlfriend, unofficial wife, compatriot and confident. They shared a loving a free life together, and whilst he was in prison she ensured his books were published; sticking by his side throughout. Then, the unthinkable happened. She tells her story in My Psychedelic Love Story.

My Psychedelic Love Story is a rip-roaring yarn about true love, high jinx and a hedonistic time when anything was possible. Award-winning director Errol Morris revels in this narrative, which is driven by the recollections of Harcourt-Smith herself. Whilst she’s not always the most reliable narrator, we’re immersed in the glitz and glamour of the era. My Psychedelic Love Story tells and intriguing tale from the perspective of someone in the thick of it.

My Psychedelic Love Story screens at CPH:DOX.

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