MDMA

Studio: Shout! Studios
Directed by Angie Wang

Sep 14, 2018 Issue #64 -  Kamasi Washington
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In the rise of MDMA’s popularity as a “party drug” in the 1980s, Angie Wang (The Leftovers’ Annie Q.) was a student at a yuppie college struggling to pay her tuition. Watching the narcotic get passed around at campus ragers, Angie spots an opportunity to make some fast cash by synthesizing the drug herself using borrowed chemistry lab equipment. Her operation soon grows from a few student sellers to supplying an entire network for a Euro gangster. Before tragedy inevitably struck, Wang had become one of ecstasy’s biggest suppliers on the West Coast.

Interestingly, MDMA was inspired by a true story; more interestingly, the film’s subject is its writer-director. First-time feature filmmaker Angie Wang blended her own experience in the illicit drug industry with fiction, crafting a story that lies somewhere in between. A tad predictable with a couple story threads and characters receiving more screen time than necessary, MDMA is otherwise compelling, with some good visual style and a strong performance from its lead. In the future, it would be interesting to see the director tackle a subject less close to her own life. 

Author rating: 5/10

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