Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary

[Dass and Leary] both saw themselves...as adventurers exploring alternate realities, and hearing where they ended up is a trip all by itself.


Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary

In the early 1960s Harvard psychology professors Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert began probing the edges of consciousness through their experiments with psychedelics. Leary became a missionary for mind-altering drugs, igniting a global counter-culture movement and landing in prison after Richard Nixon called him “the most dangerous man in America.” Alpert journeyed to the East to become Ram Dass, a spiritual teacher for a new generation and the author of the book “Be Here Now”. This cinematic vision quest encourages us to ponder questions about life, death, drugs & the biggest mysteries of the human condition.

Whether you've heard of them or not, they’ve changed your life and shaped a generation.

Now, nearly 50 years later, a new documentary re-assesses the lives of two iconic figures through the lens of their work, successes and failures, collaboration, and remarkable journey through life. Together as friends, collaborators and individuals they were both celebrated and vilified. Once viewed as luminaries of social change, they were also portrayed as caricatures in a larger power game of political upheaval. In reality, by choice or by chance, they became two sides of a coin, the mind and the heart of a generation.

After they had weaved in and out through each other’s lives for decades, Leary announced his terminal cancer and his wish to be public about the process of his passing. His first call was to Ram Dass and inspired a December 1995 reunion at Tim’s house in Los Angeles, (one arranged by the filmmakers.) Ram Dass came down from San Francisco to visit Tim and the conversation began to fly. The result, DYING TO KNOW: RAM DASS & TIMOTHY LEARY captures them in intimate and entertaining conversation about a lifetime of friendship, work, death and the psychedelic explorations that began it all. It would be their last time ever filmed together.

Now in release after 20 years in the making, the feature documentary incorporates 80 years of rare footage and never before seen interviews of Leary and Ram Dass. Director Gay Dillingham explores an iconic history of personal, professional and collective struggles and updates it for future generations. Her lucid and intimate portrait of the life and times of Tim Leary and Ram Dass ultimately begs a new conversation around their contributions to the science of the mind and the heart. Dying To know examines their seminal work as individuals and together as potentially more relevant today than in the past.

Robert Redford narrates this enlightening and entertaining journey of two iconic lives. 
Not Rated
Documentary, Bio-pic, History
Gay Dillingham
Robert Redford (narrator)
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Timothy Leary and Ram Dass were, at least as far as public images went, the contrasting faces of the 1960s counterculture. Leary was the LSD advocate, the exuberant popularizer of a "turn on, tune in, drop out" philosophy. He was called "the most dangerous man in America" by Richard Nixon and said ...

There are currently no showtimes for this film. Please check back soon.