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Trevor J. Roling,
A filmmaker's inquiry into transcendence becomes a three-hour trip across countries and cultures, interconnecting people, places and times. From Toronto, the scene of his childhood, Peter Mettler sets out on a journey that includes evangelism at the airport strip, demolition in Las Vegas, tracings in the Nevada desert, chemistry and street life in Switzerland, and the coexistence of technology and divinity in contemporary India. Everywhere along the way, the same themes are to be found: thrill-seeking, luck, destiny, belief, expanding perception, the craving for security in an uncertain world. Fact joins with fantasy; the search for meaning and the search for ecstasy begin to merge. Written by
After three hours the audience clapped for almost ten minutes. And although I am an expert at sitting through long film screenings, I rarely find myself thinking that I could have seen more. In the case of "Gambling, Gods and LSD" I could have floated through another hour at least. This is a film that makes you think; a visual essay on the interconnectedness of life on earth as we all search for answers, thrills and inner peace. Mettler spent almost ten years collecting the experiences of North Americans, Europeans and Asians and reorganizing them into a symbiotic work of almost religious attitude. And although the film is categorized a "documentary", "Gambling, Gods & LSD" is far from recalling the instructional movies of driving class or the nature films from grade four. With no narration and only the barest of precept, Mettler's piece recalls not only the visuals of "Baraka" or "Koyaanisqatsi" but structurally brings to mind the greatest work of Chris Marker or Agnes Varda's brilliant "The Gleaners and I". The sound work is also incredible. The importance of silence is rarely so well explored as in this film and the music is both overwhelming and introspective. Highly recommended for those who tire of the pedantic television-style documentary that has permeated our consciousness of late; "Gambling, Gods & LSD" is a film that leaves the audience to make their own story out of what they have just experienced.
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