CINE: A Magical Cactus Trip


Despite the fact that it chronicles a quest for the psychedelic San Pedro cactus, “Crystal Fairy” is not a drug movie, says the film’s director Sebastián Piñera.

The film opens with the lead character, Jamie, played by Michael Cera, consuming copious amounts of alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine. The central plot device is the search for and ingestion of the mescaline-producing San Pedro cactus. And yet, “Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus” is not really a drug movie, or even significantly about drugs, according to award-winning director Sebastián Silva. It is instead about Jamie’s “spiritual epiphany” as his selfishness is pierced and he begins to discover a sense of compassion for others, namely co-star Gabby Hoffman’s title character Crystal Fairy.

James Gerardo Lamb
Publication date: 
January 14, 2014
Publication type: 
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article