• Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

‘Generation Ecstasy’: History Of Club Drug Explored In Six-Part Docuseries From ‘Undone’ Producer Submarine

Nov 30, 2021

EXCLUSIVE: Submarine, the company behind Amazon’s animated drama Undone, is to explore the history of ecstasy in a new docuseries.

The company, which is also behind Richard Linklater’s Netflix feature film Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Adventure, has optioned upcoming book XTC: A Biography, from journalists Philippus Zandstra and Wietse Pottjewijd, and is developing a non-fiction series.

The six-part series, known as Generation Ecstasy, will explore how a failed German medicine found its way into the Netherlands, going on to become both a cultural phenomenon and a major societal issue. Charting the international story of ecstasy through the recent social and cultural history of the Netherlands, it explores the vast popularity, power and destructive force of this beloved party drug.

It will look at how the Netherlands, which has always been at the forefront of legalising drugs is on the brink of becoming a narco-state as the biggest global producer and exporter of the drug, which brings in around €20B per year, as much as the Dutch national airline KLM.

The series will also tell how, in the early 1990s, three men set up the first big ecstasy network in the Netherlands and the drug became a catalyst for a cultural revolution. Moving through ganglands, nomad lands, cults and communes, the series will explore the underbelly of organized crime alongside ecstasy’s symbiotic relationship with the explosion of dance music and youth culture in the 1990s, with a colourful cast of characters from manufacturers, politicians, academics and medical professionals, to users, dealers, criminals and idealists. While ecstasy becomes more and more commonplace, sitting at the cusp of a revolutionary breakthrough for the treatment of PTSD, the Netherlands finds itself grappling with an insidious network of violence and corruption.

Submarine is producing with CEO Femke Wolting serving as executive producer. The company is also looking at a potential drama series based on the topic.

Wolting said: “Ecstasy as a chemical compound has had a massive effect in the Netherlands both culturally and economically – with a turbulent history which has seen it go from a drug with huge therapeutic potential to a lucrative finance for criminal enterprise – all the while maintaining a presence as an undeniable component of nightlife, culture and the music scene for the past three decades. We look forward to using Philippus and Wietse’s thorough research as a foundation to explore this fascinating subject.”

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