documentary hack

Take Your Pills

Alison Klayman

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

This documentary from acclaimed director Alison Klayman examines the societal and personal repercussions of stimulant use in an increasingly hyper-competitive world that's geared toward achieving more, faster, at any cost.


Take Your Pills

Take Your Pills

by Alison Klayman


In a culture governed by accelerating pressures to outperform others and exceed expectations, the rise of cognitive stimulant use in students, athletes and working professionals in high-stakes sectors comes as little surprise.

Take Your Pills provides a broad historical overview of the pharmaceutical industry responsible for producing such stimulants as Adderall and Ritalin. The film features personal stories of college students and professionals who use stimulants, often sourced on the black market, to increase academic achievement and performance. Alongside self-medicating users are those who are prescribed stimulants for behavioral issues and struggle with the social stigma.

Alison Klayman received acclaim for her debut feature Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, a documentary portrait of the Chinese activist. Featuring interviews with students, parents, professionals, academics and neuroscientists, Klayman's latest documentary provides a sobering insight into a billion-dollar industry with a significant psychological and societal cost.

Favorite quote

The norms that are driving the use of performance-enhancing drugs are those that simply tell us your task is to concentrate, to perform at the highest capacity that you possibly can and to do it for as long as it takes.

- Alison Klayman

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