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USA 1999
Directed by
Ron Mann
80 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars


Dope docos are invariably made by dope heads who love to take the piss out of ill-informed establishmentarians bent on outlawing the wicked weed. Grass is no exception and we are treated to the typical excerpts from black and white anti-drug propaganda "educational" films and sensationalist nickel movies depicting the deranged personalities of marijuana users mixed with bare-footed hippies tokin' in the fields. Following a chronological trajectory the film narrated by Woody Harrelson (who presumably is a confirmed dope fiend), concentrates on the extraordinary time, energy and money that the US Federal Government (except briefly during the 70s) has spent on demonizing cannabis and seeking retribution on those who To say it has been a near-religious campaign is no exaggeration as the forces of dope repression are closely aligned with right-wing fundamentalists, sadly, always a significant force in the American psyche and political landscape, obsessed with corralling the beast of anarchy in whatever form they perceive it.

Whilst there are no surprises here, director Ron Mann has collected its rich array of material thoroughly and cannily edited it into a tight package, nicely embellished with some excellent graphics and audio-effects. As propaganda of its own sort this film works well - make sure you've got a little something for during the show. And if you've got a little bit for before, well, it'll be a lot more fun.




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