© Ventura Film

The Substance : Albert Hofmann's LSD


2011, Switzerland
Original language
Running time
chemistry, medicine, society
Directed by
Martin Witz
Produced by
Ventura Film

In 1943, the year in which the first A-bomb was built, Albert Hofmann discovered LSD – a substance that was to become an A-bomb of the mind. It is the story of a drug – its discovery in the Basle chemistry lab, the first experiments by Albert Hofmann on himself, the 1950s experiments of the psychiatrists, the consciousness researchers, the artists… Could it actually be possible to find a path to the core of our human existence by means of a chemical? Do the enigmatic effects of this drug really help us to better understand the human soul? … Could LSD be an instrument of contemporary psychiatry? Of modern brain research? “The Substance” turns out to be a journey through time in broad cinematic arcs, with archival material from private sources that have not been released before, newly processed international archives and principal witnesses of the historical events – and obviously Albert Hofmann, the main character who has his say time and again, interviewed shortly before his death.


Selected at Pariscience 2012 - Audacity Prize
See the showing : Saturday 06th October 2012 from 18h00 to 20h00