YouTube CENSORS one of the most powerful scenes in my documentary
EDIT: Success! YouTube has re-enabled access to the video. Thanks for all of your support!
HIGH has received a lot of support from film-watchers, and documentary lovers, as well as the drug reform community. And today something happened that just made me extremely hot under the collar.
I logged into the YouTube account I use for HIGH-related content (and other things) and received this message.
Yes, YouTube informed me that they have censored what is perhaps the most important and powerful scene in the documentary. Displaying a vicious abuse of power of prison guards, prisoners are made to crawl on the ground, strip naked, bend over, and all of this in front of other prisoners and caught on camera.
There was nothing sexual or provocative about this. Nothing lurid. Just horrifying. HIGH is not about the sexuality in any way, and neither is this clip. Whatever mouth-breather at YouTube that decided that this clip -- which comes from one of the most-viewed Netflix documentaries and sixth most-viewed documentary of all-time on Hulu -- deserved to be censored, I would like to speak with them and ask them what, precisely, was going through their heads.
So, YouTube, I just have to ask: precisely what about this clip (which was already restricted to be watched by people who were logged in and listed their age as over 18) made it worthy of being completely removed, censored, and deleted from the site?
It has come to my attention that there was a screw-up concerning my distributor and the wrong, older, differently-voiced version of HIGH was sent and processed with them. The version up there now has a different narrator and is cut differently from the final version. While this problem is being rectified, I'd ask that you not watch that version. If you do want to get it from Netflix, get the DVD version. It'll take slightly more time to get it, but you also get deleted scenes that didn't make it into the film and provide additional insight and context.
I realize saying that this is like an invitation to go watch it on Netflix Instant Watch, but I'm just telling you that that version is wrong. It's old, different info, different narration, and is cut differently, and I disavow it.
If you want to watch the correct version, there's the DVD or you can watch on Hulu if you're in the US.
Sorry about this again, and I'll update this post as soon as I know something.
EDIT: On an unrelated note, I'd like to give recognition to the Mystic Roots band for their song "Pass the Marijuana," which I used in the medical marijuana segment in the doc.
EDIT 4: Make that the 6th most-viewed documentary of all-time. Thanks to everyone for your support!
EDIT 3: HIGH is now the 8th most-viewed documentary of all-time on Hulu. Thanks to all of you for your support! Because of the success online, it'll soon be coming (legally) to the UK. More on that soon.
EDIT 2: Due to a great deal of interest, I am available for interviews and other media appearances. Please email john [at] synergeticdistribution [dot] com if you wish to get in contact.
EDIT: On September 8, 9, AND 10, 2010, HIGH was the #1 film on Hulu! Thanks to everyone who helped get it there!