Sammy-Gate

Noel Lawrence

IFFR 2020

Regained

  • 88'
  • USA
  • 2020

"Psychedelic history" is what Noel Lawrence calls this LSD-drenched version of the Watergate scandal. Think: a satanic Richard Nixon talking like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. In 1972, the break-in at the Democratic headquarters in Washington wasn't a simple Republican plot.

This motley mix of fiction and altered archive images has a lead role for celebrity Sammy Davis Jr, who is sent to Vietnam by president Nixon to find out why so many American GIs are becoming heroin addicts. Davis uncovers a right-wing conspiracy set up by American billionaire Howard Hughes, who is importing vast quantities of heroin into America to get the black inner-city youth addicted, with the aim of suppressing the political activism that was arising in the late 1960s.

Why make "a psychedelic trip into the 1970s polyester heart of darkness"? Because this allows you to uncover hidden truths, Lawrence says, taking his lead from the Surrealists of the early twentieth century.

Director
Noel Lawrence
Premiere
World premiere
Country of production
USA
Production Year
2020
Festival Edition
IFFR 2020
Length
88'
Medium
DCP
Language
English
Producers
Noel Lawrence, Karina Pyudik
Production Company
J.X. Williams Archive
Sales
J.X. Williams Archive
Screenplay
Noel Lawrence, Darius James
Cinematography
Stephan Wassmann, Tabbert Fiiller
Editor
Noel Lawrence
Production Design
Priscilla Elliott
Sound Design
Cody Troy
Music
K.P.Thomas, Eric D. Clark, Brennan E. Johns
Cast
Richard Beatty, Philip Proctor, Peter Henry Schroeder, Durga McBroom, Reginald M. Jernigan Jr.