Sebastian Job, Ph.D.

“Filip Záruba’s documentary Bufo Alvarius is a true work of divine remembering, of Platonic anamnesis. The film begins with the most acute recreation of the entry into the 5-MeO-DMT ex-im-plosion I have ever seen. It is uncanny to be drawn into these frames. As if one were allowed to witness again, this time from a third person perspective, the intimate kenosis of the soul that reliably happens on the other side of the pipe. For anyone yet to undergo the bufo/5-MeO-DMT baptism, these scenes are then replicated on the symbolic level with the help of psychedelic pioneer Stanislav Grof, who gives an incisive description of his first dissolution into the all-pervasive Clear Light. The remainder of the film follows a band of novices through their first bufo experiences, and incidentally, through interspersed interviews, gives a glimpse of the depth of the Czech engagement with psychedelics. If I have any reservations about the presentation, it is that Záruba leans heavily on the utopian potential of bufo/5-MeO-DMT, without attending to the darker sides of the whole bufo/5-MeO-DMT scene. Perhaps that can be the next film.”

Honorary Associate, Department of Anthropology, University of Sydney,
Casual Lecturer, National Institute of Dramatic Art, Sydney