‘Rolling Papers': Film Review

Mitch Dickman’s documentary chronicles a efforts of a Denver Post’s first-ever “marijuana editor” as he covers a new kick after a state legalizes a drug.

The city of Denver, Colorado, used to have dual vital newspapers. One, a Rocky Mountain News, published given 1859, shuttered in 2009. The other, The Denver Post, is thriving. In response to Colorado’s legalizing recreational pot in 2012, a paper hired a “marijuana editor,” Ricardo Baca, and started a special website, “The Cannabist,” featuring news and even reviews relating to a subject. Who says that veteran broadcasting is dying?  

Mitch Dickman’s punningly patrician documentary shadows a editor and his courageous reporters during their initial year on a job. Commenting on Baca’s hiring, one of a paper’s tip editors explains, “He lonesome a song stage for many years, so we knew he was informed with marijuana.”

(Personal note: we also cover a song scene, and given we live in New York you’ll have to pull your possess conclusions).

Considering a theme matter, it’s tough not to be amused by a mostly candid tinge a film takes toward a executive figures, including one womanlike pot censor who also writes a parenting mainstay (Baca fast takes her off a initial beat) and a beginner contributor reserved to a story about a black-market pot play who, after being asked a supportive question, resolutely requests that a camera be incited off.

“I should Google inquisitive reporting,” a author comments on his approach to a interview. All the President’s Men, this ain’t.

Still, there are critical issues raised, from a use of medical pot to provide ill children to an review of a association whose products destroy to enclose a claim volume of THC (the chemical in pot that gets we high). Less interestingly, a film follows Baca on a outing to Uruguay where he explores a issues lifted by a nation apropos a initial to legalize a drug.

The filmmaker isn’t wholly defence to lightheartedness, such as when a pot critics plead such strains as “Death Panda” and “Ghost Train.” After they’re named, a products are glamorously showcased on a revolving silk pillow, like pot porn.

But notwithstanding a intriguing subject, a film, that compulsory a services of no reduction than 3 editors (what, were they carrying difficulty concentrating?), doesn’t excavate deeply adequate to be entirely satisfying. Much like a drug it spotlights (to anxiety another journalism-themed movie), it will leave we inspired afterwards.   

Production: Denver Documentary Collective, Listen Productions

Distributor: Alchemy

Director: Mitch Dickman

Producers: Mitch Dickman, Britta Erickson, Alison Greenberg Millice, Daniel Junge, Karl Kister, Katie Shapiro

Executive producers: Dave Berlin, Walker Deibel, Joni Eddy, Chad Troutwine

Director of photography: Zack Armstrong

Editors: Zack Armstrong, Davis Coombe, Tim Kaminski

Not rated, 79 min.

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