Errol Morris’ ‘Wormwood’ Is a Genre-Bending True-Crime Masterpiece

Wormwood centers around the mysterious death of a man named Frank Olsen drugged by the CIA while staying in a cabin at Deep Creek Lake. It premeired on December 15th, 2017 and is said to be a “pioneering masterpiece”. Frank’s final days were spent at a hush-hush retreat at a cabin at Maryland’s Deep Creek Lake (where the acid was dropped), followed by a longer stretch in Manhattan under the watch of colleagues, who claimed they were concerned about Frank’s state of mind. Those incidents are detailed with stylish foreboding by Morris, whose main guide through this tangled tale is Eric Olson, interviewed in a number of Spartan, wood-paneled interior spaces. As Eric lays out, his father Frank had grave suspicions about the U.S’s use of biochemical weapons in Korea—and considerable guilt over his part in that war effort. And, at least in 1975, it appeared to Eric that it was those misgivings that had led the government to get Frank high in order to deduce whether, under narco-duress, he’d develop loose lips—a scheme that wound up having terrible unintended consequences for all involved.

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