Netflix won its second-ever Oscar Sunday for the doping documentary “Icarus,” and the site wasted no time readying its next exposé on performance-enhancing drugs. “Take Your Pills” will be a Day One premiere at SXSW this Friday. The 87-minute feature unpacks the $13 billion industry that exists for cognitive enhancements like Adderal and Ritalin.
Director Alison Klayman spoke with many individuals who’ve used (and and abused) pharamceuticals to boost their productivity, including college students, a Silicon Valley software engineer, and former Chicago Bear player Eben Britton. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 54 million Americans have ingested opioids, depressants, or stimulants for non-medical reasons. Our country’s opioid epidemic was the subject of another 2018 Academy Award nominee from Netflix, the documentary short “Heroin(e).”
Klayman won the Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Documentary Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance for her 2012 debut, “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” which was later nominated for two News & Documentary Emmys. The New York Times named her as one of 20 Directors to Watch the following year.
Among the executive producers of “Take Your Pills” is two-time Oscar nominee Julie Goldman (“Life, Animated,” “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail”), journalist and former California First Lady Maria Shriver, and Shriver’s daughter, Christina Schwarzenegger.
Netflix will bring four additional titles to the Austin, Texas festival: movies “6 Balloons,” “First Match,” and “The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter,” plus the series “Rapture.”
“Take Your Pills” beginning streaming on March 16. Watch the trailer below.