Indie distributor Greenwich Entertainment, which handled the theatrical release of 2018 Oscar winner Free Solo, has picked up the feature documentary We Are as Gods — a portrait of the LSD, cyberspace and environmentalism pioneer Stewart Brand — and slated it for a VOD release on September 6.
A charter member of Ken Kesey’s “Merry Pranksters,” the California-based acolytes of LSD-aided mind expansion, Brand went on to become a leading figure of the back-to-the-land environmentalist movement in the late ’60s and early ’70s, when he began publishing the countercultural DIY primer The Whole Earth Catalog.
Regarding computers as another potentially valuable tool for “do your own thing” personal liberation, Brand became a prophet of cyber-utopianism, exerting a profound influence on Silicon Valley and the tech industry. While the now-octogenarian Brand (pictured) remains a committed environmentalist, his futurist proposals for “de-extinction” — which include the use of nuclear power, genetic engineering and geoengineering to resurrect vanished ecosystems and fauna and combat climate change — have made him an oppositional figure for the environmentalist movement he helped to spearhead.
Directed by David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg (Bill Nye: Science Guy) and an official selection at the 2021 Hot Docs and SXSW film festivals, We Are as Gods offers extraordinary access to Brand and his personal archive, which includes more than 50 years’ worth of materials. The film also sports an original soundtrack by legendary musician, visual artist and perennial forward thinker Brian Eno, who serves on the board of the Brand-founded, San Francisco–based Long Now Foundation.
“David and Jason have created a vastly entertaining bio-doc of a true American original,” Greenwich Entertainment co-president Ed Arentz said. “For those who remember his counterculture bible The Whole Earth Catalog, to those who were inspired by his ideas about the emerging world of computing and technology, and to those excited by his latest species de-extinction crusade, we know audiences will be entranced by the long, strange trip of Stewart Brand.”
You can view the trailer for We Are as Gods below:
Photo by Everett Katigbak, Stripe Press