For a documentary about two men who were big-time drug dealers back in the day, The Sunshine Makers is a quaint, damn-near-adorable bit of nostalgia.
The two men are Tim Scully and Nick Sand, LSD enthusiasts who became such big fans of the drug during the Sixties that they eventually made and distributed the infamous “Orange Sunshine” pill. Unlike the subjects of most drug-dealer chronicles, these two say they weren’t out to figuratively or literally make a killing, acquire loads of money, and live the glamorous life while users got fucked-up off their product. They were instead on a mission to enlighten the world and stop all war, violence, and bad vibes. (Those noble intentions didn’t stop the Feds from cracking down on their asses, of course.)
Director Cosmo Feilding Mellen spends a lot of time with Scully and Sand, now aging hippies who practically live their lives off the grid. (Mellen even gives us scenes of Sand doing yoga butt-bald-nekkid, his bathing-suit area always hidden from the camera.)
Sunshine ably details the rise and fall of these men and their LSD empire, but it ultimately ends up a trip down memory lane for this psychedelic odd couple, as they visit lost loves and recall a time when they wanted everyone to turn on, tune in, and drop out.
The Sunshine Makers
Directed by Cosmo Feilding Mellen
Opens January 20, Village East Cinema
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 18, 2017