FEATURE FILM REVIEW
THE IMPORTANCE OF STRANGE PERCEPTIONS
Take a journey through the world of psychedelics and learn about the medical and psychiatric benefits of plants such as Ayahuasca, Mushrooms, Ketamine, MDMA and more.
What an interesting documentary! All about psychedelics and trying to “explain the unexplainable,” “The Importance Of Strange Perceptions” is a journey through what it was like in the mind of writer/director Moe Taylor. Choosing to go with narration, interviews, and a whole bunch of trippin’ visuals to shed light on a subject that’s still wildly considered taboo, Taylor’s tapped into a topic that’s genuinely crucial to explain - in as vivid detail as possible. For some, the mere suggestion of psychedelics conjures up a whole bunch of stories and folklore of bad trips and experiences that have raged out of control – and for others, psychedelics represent the gateway to an essential aspect of mental freedom that might not otherwise have existed in this world. I know where I stand on all of this already, and I’m hardly able to be as objective as I’d usually be in reviewing something I’m watching after having already had so much personal experience with psychedelics. That said, I wouldn’t even be here today without them; they opened the door to understanding this planet in awe-inspiring ways - that I could have never learned from a textbook or the assistance of some traditionally prescribed medication.
I’d be the first to admit that due to the help of substances like LSD, psilocybin, and DMT, I was able to find my way to a life that is well worth living. As “The Importance Of Strange Perceptions” will confirm, getting there isn’t always easy – sometimes you have to have serious confrontations with your mind and battle your way to a higher understanding. Still, once you’re able to find your way there, you realize that you weren’t just taking drugs; you were resetting the mechanics of your brain, finding yourself in tune with a different frequency, and achieving a sense of harmony that you would have otherwise never known. I appreciated how this film was able to detail so much of what I’d personally experienced so precisely and shown us how many other people far and wide across this beautiful planet of ours have benefitted from something similar, just like Moe.
Not only do you get firsthand accounts of what many people have experienced through the power of psychedelics – largely Ayahuasca – but you’ll find that there’s a genuinely tangible credibility to the stories they tell and the experiences they lived through. It’s not just a bunch of psychobabble and random people telling you about the fantastic trips they’ve been on with all the pretty colors – it’s much more in-depth than that. Remarkably insightful stuff can be found within this film, like the comparison to dog whistles and what we can/can’t hear and how that relates to the potential and possibilities for our other senses. Essentially, if we can’t hear everything, it stands to reason that there would be a complete chance we can’t see, feel, touch, or smell everything too – make sense?
...MEDICATION WAS NEVER SOMETHING THAT EVER HELPED BEYOND A MERE MOMENT...
I know a lot of “The Importance Of Strange Perceptions” was attempting to “explain the unexplainable,” – but that whole dog-whistle analogy was a very solid way of wrapping this idea under one large branch of our thought process that folks could fully comprehend, whether they’ve ‘been there,’ or not. Some people get all kinds of emotional when describing what they’ve been through – and perhaps most importantly, “The Importance Of Strange Perceptions” draws a direct line to how psychedelics can completely treat major issues like depression and dependence, versus how medical sciences are often aiming at placating pain and suffering, without really fixing the root cause. This is true as far as I understand it; I’ve actually been on both sides of this fence within this one lifetime, and medication was never something that ever helped beyond a mere moment, whereas psychedelics alleviate the stress on my mind permanently by altering the course of how I think.
Like many people, even some included in this very film, we’re trained by society to feel somewhat ashamed of such extraordinary breakthroughs in our own mental health simply because of how we went about achieving it all through experimentation, hallucinations, and the use of heavy psychedelics. I liked how Moe explained his own circumstances and what had brought him to make this film…learning about his struggles with depression, PTSD, and alcoholism is a great way of establishing real credibility with the audience. I’ll admit, when “The Importance Of Strange Perceptions” seemed like it was about to wrap up, I was ready to pounce – Moe had PROMISED us all an explanation of the conclusions he came to that helped him by the end of this film, and for a moment there, I thought we might finish this documentary without revisiting that truly important piece of the story. Thankfully, through his narration and full-text details onscreen, Moe does revisit his own story and provides us with quite a clear conclusion as to which method he chose, why, and how it helped him – all of which I personally found fascinating.
As those of us that have explored the menu of available psychedelics would tell ya, different substances can do/achieve slightly different things, and each individual person’s reaction to what they take could be extremely different depending on what they set out to accomplish by taking what they choose. So while Moe decides something different than I would have personally, at the end of the day, all I want for the guy – all WE want for the guy as the audience following along with his story – is for him to find peace, comfort, and a place on Earth where he feels like he can be free to function as naturally as possible. I’m glad that he found his way there.
...IT'S WELL THOUGHT OUT, CLEVERLY ASSEMBLED, AND UNIQUE IN HOW IT GOES ABOUT RELAYING ITS INFORMATION.
While the bright and flashy imagery, humor, and colors, were all a nice touch in terms of how to show us this story, what’s easily the most impressive aspect of “The Importance Of Strange Perceptions” is the real heart behind the making of this film, its intentions to help others, and “explain the unexplainable” in a way that we can all universally understand. I really enjoyed this from start to finish; it’s well thought-out, cleverly assembled, and unique in how it goes about relaying its information. I think Moe was very smart in personalizing this experience for us and being unafraid to be involved in the storyline that we follow, even if it’s only through narration and pictures – I appreciate where he’s coming from, and didn’t feel cheated in the slightest, or like we needed any more than what we got from him. I’m thankful he chose to share what he’s been through and heartened by the fact that he found relief in a world that seems to offer precious little of that good stuff. I’m going with a well-earned four out of five stars for this film – it ultimately achieves its objective of revealing “The Importance Of Strange Perceptions.”
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