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In Wormwood, Morris, an Oscar winner for 2003’s The Fog of War, will look at the CIA’s LSD experiments in the 1950s and the case of Frank Rudolph Olson, a CIA employee who plunged to his death from a New York hotel room in 1953 after being secretly given LSD. While his death has been described as both a suicide and a murder, his sons Eric and Nils Olson filed suit against the government in 2012.
The series, which is also scheduled to play the upcoming Venice Film Festival, is said not to employ conventional re-enactments, but it does use a number of actors as it examines the Olsons. The cast includes Peter Sarsgaard, Molly Parker, Christian Camargo, Scott Shepherd, Tim Blake Nelson, Bob Balaban, Jimmi Simpson and Michael Chernus.
In a statement accompanying the release of the teaser trailer for the series, Morris writes, “Isn’t journalism the pursuit of truth? But what if the truth proves to be elusive, hard to get at? How far does one go? Where does one stop? Are there limits, emotional and otherwise, to the pursuit of truth? Can it be injurious to one’s health? Here we have the story of one man’s 60-year quest to identify the circumstances of his father’s death. Did he jump from a hotel window? Or was he pushed? And if he was pushed, why? What for? A shadowy world of hidden and imagined intentions coupled with dark and horrifying revelations. In many ways, a personal family story, but in many other ways, a story of America’s decline in the period following World War II. It asks the question: To what extent can a democracy lie to its citizens and still, in the end, remain a democracy?
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