'I'm Dangerous With Love'

The director's low-res video camera trivializes the film's already crude approximations of psychedelic experiences.

Having trolled New York’s mean streets to examine the pros and cons of methadone treatment in “Methadonia,” documaker Michel Negroponte uses “I’m Dangerous With Love” to follow Dimitri, a charismatic poet and ex-addict administering the illegal hallucinogen Ibogaine as an experimental form of detox. As a character study and revelation of a possible answer to addiction, the docu rocks. But Negroponte’s low-res video camera, eminently suitable for capturing the down-and-dirty ordeal of detox, trivializes the film’s already crude approximations of psychedelic experiences and its recordings of shamanistic rituals. Pic’s largely unknown and unproven study may stir debate in limited release.

Dimitri, practically vibrating with sincerity, admits that curing people gets him high, and the fact that Ibogaine is illegal adds to the rush. His patients have tried orthodox treatments and stayed addicted for decades; one woman displays her purple-mottled legs, which barely escaped amputation. After taking Ibogaine, many remain drug-free. But when a patient nearly dies, Dimitri travels to Gabon and endures a grueling, mega-overdosing shamanistic initiation to achieve further enlightenment. Next to Dimitri’s impassioned dedication, director Negroponte’s intrusive personal commentary and curiosity-driven ingestion of Ibogaine feel dilettantish.

I'm Dangerous With Love

Production

A First Run Feature release of a Blackbridge production in association with Cactus Three. Produced by Michel Negroponte. Executive producers, Julie Goldman, Krysanne Katsoolis, Caroline Stevens. Directed, edited by Michel Negroponte. Written by Nick Pappas, Joni Wehrli.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Negroponte; music, Brook Williams, Beo Morales. Reviewed on DVD, New York, Jan. 8, 2011. Running time: 84 MIN.

With

Dimitri Mugianis, Nick, Noah, William, Scott, Phaima, Philip Fuity. (English, French, Fang dialogue)
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