Filmmaker Ron Mann will light up the screen at South By Southwest with the premiere of his documentary “Grass.” Recounting how marijuana has become the focus of jubilant celebrations and legal repression through the decades, the film mixes anti-marijuana archival footage with playful psychedelic graphics by underground cartoonist Paul Mavrides and narration from pot afficiandado Woody Harrelson.

Characters making an appearance in Grass include the first head of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics Harry J. Anslinger, to such archly conservative pot prohibitionists as President Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan to, listing leftwards, politicians Fiorella La Guardia and Jimmy Carter, and grass victims Robert Mitchum and Gene Krupa.

Mark Mothersbaugh’s score is accompanied by a veritable potpourri of tunes ranging from the Swing Era’s “Reefer Man” through Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women” to the hippie lament “One Toke Over The Line.”

Posted on March 9, 2000 in Festivals by

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