SXSW 2016 Film Review: Orange Sunshine

Posted in Film Festivals, SXSW Film Festival 2016 by - March 27, 2016
SXSW 2016 Film Review: Orange Sunshine

Orange Sunshine beautifully tells the story of a drug that took America by storm during the LSD movement.

LSD. Lysergic acid diethylamide. This is the drug that stormed onto the scene during the 1960’s, changing thousands of lives in the process. In a time without the internet, for any idea or a practice to become a craze, there really had to be substance to it. People had to love that thing with intense passion for the word of mouth to spread so infectiously. One of those things that people loved so much was LSD, specifically Orange Sunshine.

In this Documentary Feature, we follow the untold story of The Brotherhood of Eternal Love; A small group of individuals who found LSD on their own, and thought they should share it with the world. For them, it was all about spiritual enlightenment, and getting to known ones inner self. They felt it was their duty to “spread the love” and help people come to know all there was to know. Through this journey, this group not only help fuel the fire of the LSD movement, they became one of the biggest LSD distributers ever seen. Their prized product: Orange Sunshine.

This film has all the components of a special Documentary, making it no surprise that it premiered to the world at South by South West. Director William A. Kirkley does a terrific job piecing together this story, showing the candid side of The Brotherhood. These guys aren’t your stereotypical drug dealers who only cared about money and would shed blood if necessary. These guys were self proclaimed hippies and surfers, who simply wanted to share their experience with everyone. In Orange Sunshine we view this story through beautiful reenactments, first hand stories, and media reports from the time, just as you should see in any fantastic documentary. The filmmakers even elude to the fact that it is likely Sir Paul McCartney himself once took the famous orange pill.  We really get a glimpse of what it was like in those times, and many of us, myself included, weren’t around to experience it.

All in all Orange Sunshine shows us, through excellent filmmaking, that the life a drug dealer can be more than negative. Now then, prior to viewing this film, I assumed it was about some low life drug dealers trying to get rich off of peoples misfortunes, but I was dead wrong. Many of us reject the idea that any drug is acceptable, and believe that all drug dealers should be treated the same. However, two things are clear to me after watching this film: The Brotherhood of Eternal love were not malicious in any interpretation of the word, and, we must put someone’s actions in perspective and have all information prior to assuming anything. Take the time to watch Orange Sunshine, you’ll witness history through great filmmaking.


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1 Comment on "SXSW 2016 Film Review: Orange Sunshine"

  • I’m thrilled William and his film are getting rave reviews. I’m tied very closely to this project in ways that are very personal. I found out how to connect my daughter to her father who was interviewed in the doc, who she finally met after 43 years, never knowing him. I too was part of this gang until I moved to Hawaii, I have a short film on YouTube, “How I Survived the Sixties”, a book on Amazon with the same title and someday I hope to produce the Feature film telling a deeper and more grittier story from the screenplay I wrote. Thanks for appreciating a time when we were truly a group who just wanted to find God in the only way presented to us at that time.

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