Alibi Picks

Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary

A total trip in Santa Fe

In 1995, at the request of some filmmakers, Timothy “Turn on, tune in, drop out” Leary met with his old pal, the spiritual guru and Eastern philosopher Ram Dass, for a profound conversation about life, death, friendship and consciousness. By the following year, Leary would be dead from cancer.

It may have taken almost two decades, but that intimate conversation has finally found its conceptual home in Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary, a documentary directed by Gay Dillingham that assembles interviews and archival footage to examine the impact of these two men who so profoundly shaped 20th-century America. Billing itself as a “cosmic buddy movie” and narrated by Robert Redford, the story ranges from the sanctioned 1960s experiments with LSD at Harvard University (back when Dass was still known as Richard Alpert) to the ways in which their lives diverged as Leary became Nixon’s “most dangerous man in America” and Dass transformed into an author and spiritual teacher.

On the heels of its sold-out local premiere in November, Dying to Know officially opens at CCA Cinematheque (1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe) the day after Christmas. A special showing on Saturday, Dec. 27, at 7pm (with a 6pm reception) includes a post-screening conversation between Dillingham and Michael Fitzgerald (producer, The Horseman); the $25 ticket price will benefit the filmmakers, who are still trying to find distribution. Hit ccasantafe.org and dyingtoknowmovie.com for more details. CCA Cinematheque, Santa Fe • Sat Dec 27 • 7pm • $25 • View on Alibi calendar