From Shock to Awe

2018 • 84 minutes
5 reviews
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About this movie

From Shock to Awe asks, 'how do we heal our deepest wounds?' An intimate and raw look at the transformational journey of two combat veterans suffering from severe trauma (PTSD) as they abandon pharmaceuticals to seek relief through the mind-expanding world of psychedelics. Recent scientific research coupled with a psychedelic renaissance reveals that these substances can be used to heal PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) for individuals and their families. The documentary focuses on veterans, Matt Kahl and Mike Cooley, and their challenging post-war lives. The vets personally struggle with anxiety, fear, depression, anger, and an overall inability to find an equilibrium in society and with their families. In order to deal with their erratic emotions and haunted state-of-mind, doctors prescribe intense pharmaceuticals with various side effects that bring them face-to-face with death. In response to the negative impact of traditional Western medicine, Mike and Matt decide to take ayahuasca, an Amazonian brew traditionally used for healing and spiritual insights. These warriors attend a weekend ceremony filled with hope...and fear of the unknown. As images of battle consume their minds, the vets reverently drink the bitter brew several times over a weekend, bringing about profound revelations for our weary soldiers. Upon returning to home, they quickly learn that their families are not prepared for the rapid change. Aimee, Matt's wife, is overwhelmed by his exuberance and feels threatened that he might leave her. Brooke, Mike's wife, sees the healing but finds her own demons rising to the surface. Mike feels the 'reset' and describes the experience like a roller coaster and the challenges associated with integrating the life-changing ceremonies. Unexpected twists and turns, and a desire to understand their husbands' journeys, Aimee and Brooke embark on their own psychedelic healing journey with ayahuasca and MDMA respectively.

Ratings and reviews

5 reviews
Greg Kasarik
November 7, 2019
As a former soldier, I was very impressed by this film and by the power of both Ayahuasca and MDMA to help veterans with PTSD. These are real people who, we decided (through our Governments) to expose to extreme trauma, but when it comes to reintegrating them into society, we consistently fail them. This movie reinforces the value of using both Ayahuasca and MDMA to help people with PTSD and it is high time that we end this mindless War on Drugs and allow people to seek treatments they need.
Chance Sears
October 30, 2019
I attended the screening in Chicago last year. Amazing breakthrough treatment. As someone who has lost my brother to PTSD, I believe this should be available.
Jean-Marc Simoneau
November 24, 2019
Impressionnant! Comme vétéran de 29 ans de services, je n'ai pas fais parti de votre période. Je tiens à dire que je vous salue bien bas!!! Respect.:)