Dirty Pictures Documentary

Dirty Pictures

Dirty Pictures is an award-winning film about the life and work of Sasha Shulgin, directed by Étienne Sauret, an independent documentary filmmaker based in NYC who has produced and directed feature documentaries for over twenty years.

Alexander Sasha Shulgin is the scientist associated with more than 200 psychedelic compounds including MDMA, more commonly known as Ecstasy. Considered to be one of the greatest chemists of the 20th century, Sasha’s vast array of discoveries have had a profound impact in the field of psychedelic research, making him a subject of fascination and controversy among fellow scientists and a folk hero to recreational users of psychedelics.

Dirty Pictures uncovers the lifework of Dr. Shulgin and takes viewers inside his Northern California home where he lives with his wife of 33 years and continues to carry out experiments in a makeshift laboratory. Director Étienne Sauret likewise delves into the broader world of psychedelic research where the fields of chemistry, neuroscience and philosophy intersect and investigates whether or not this particular field could aid in solving the deepest mysteries of the human mind.


 “A celebration of invention rather than a pro-drug screed”
Shaula Clark, The Boston Phoenix

“The film is never preachy, and whatever your stance on America’s “War on Drugs,” this film is an astounding and essential peek at some of its main players.”
Emmet Duff, SoundOnSight.org

“I don’t even know where to begin with this film because it was so good. This is the first film I’ve seen at SXSW 2010 that really blew me away. Not only is it a fascinating subject for a documentary, but the film itself is quite incredible to watch. It’s rare that I am at a loss, or I don’t quite know how to express myself, but I feel like that now.”

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