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Ron Mann's 'Grass'

     How does a critic feel when he's party to an adverse critique? None too good, based on my taking a hit in my own Phoenix about Ron Mann's Grass, the documentary history of marijuana legislation which played the Brattle. As a credited Editorial Advisor, who consulted in the editing room on shaping the material and formulating the voice-over, I naturally cried "foul" at freelancer Scott Kathan's contention that "Grass is so overtly pro-pot that it ends up being... narrow-minded..." Whao! "It's not pro-pot at all," I talked back to the review. "Grass is for decriminization of marijuana, something else entirely." And when Kathan opined that "...its arguments carry as much moral and philosophical weight as a good Cheech & Chong movie," I retorted, "Do you have any idea how long and hard Mann toiled on this film? Four years!" Then I sank really low, remembering the positive - what else? - Living Arts review. "The Globe got it right," I actually heard myself saying. Hypocrite!

(June, 2000)


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