Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival



Through comprehensive interviews and staggering archival footage, Dope Is Death shows what can be achieved via grassroots activism. The film is simultaneously a daring portrait of the perpetual injustices taking place in the United States and a celebration of the perseverance, which despite everything keeps the flame of promise alive.

Jussi Tarvainen (translated by Inari Ylinen)


The story of how Dr. Mutulu Shakur, stepfather of Tupac Shakur, along with fellow Black Panthers and the Young Lords, combined community health with radical politics to create the first acupuncture detoxification program in America in 1973 – a visionary project eventually deemed too dangerous to exist in America.

Production notes


Mia Donovan’s documentary explores the legacy of a 1970s coalition of New York activists and revolutionaries, and how they created North America’s first acupuncture detox clinic.

Dope Is Death sheds welcome light on a forgotten, and still urgent and instructive, chapter of civic history.

Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

Language: English
Subtitles: No subtitles
Director: Mia Donovan
Production Country: Canada
Year: 2020
Length (min): 81
Age limit: K12
Cinematographer: Glauco Bermudez, Mia Donovan
Screenplay: Mia Donovan
Editing: Mia Donovan
Music: Ramachandra Borcar
Producer: Bob Moore
Production Company: EyeSteelFilm