Documentary From 90s Recounts Foucault’s LSD Use, Love of America and More

foucault documentary

Complete with a bald Foucault re-enactor and dramatic readings of Foucault’s texts, this documentary titled “Beyond Good and Evil” explores the life and work of French poststructuralist Michel Foucault.

Foucault, who is famous for, among other works, “Madness and Civilization,” battled with mental illness himself. The documentary reveals that Foucault attempted suicide multiple times, at one point slashing his chest in the hallway of the École Normale Supérieure. Foucault also had morbid tastes, and adorned his room with Fransisco Goya pieces that depicted torture and war.

Other highlights include a recounting of Foucault dropping LSD in Death Valley (which he claimed was one of the most transformative events in his life) and Foucault referring to his near death experience after being hit by a car (arguably ironically) as “blissful.” Foucault also grew fond of America, where he could escape his French celebrity status and enjoy the sexual experimentation and drug use of San Francisco.

The internet is surprisingly bereft of information on this documentary. Anybody with insights about where it came from should comment below.

[via Dangerous Minds]

  • jane lane

    seems to be an episode of a BBC program called “The Late Show” which was more of an arts and culture revue but occasionally branched out into documentaries.

  • Kyle Warfield

    how does one drop “LCD”?

    • Erik

      Back in the old days, when nerds were nerds and thereby carried calculators, that used to happen all the time. 🙂

    • John Harmer

      um “dropping a tab of acid” was the phrase used for taking a tablet of LSD (not LCD) and experiencing a psychedelic trip, generally a monumental experience that would last about 8 hours, offering imagery involving death and transformation, sex and hallucinations of a most colourful nature. San Francisco was the town most associated with the attempt to create a new social paradigm based on these experiences.

      • Sammy Quin

        Not a ‘tablet’ but a piece of blotter paper that has been dipped in Lysergic, perforated into very small rectangular pieces. Otherwise generally a drop of liquid LSD on a sugar cube…