For content, this deserves five stars. Though I've read many interviews with and biographical articles about Dick, several full length biographies, and all his published novels, hearing the arc of his life related by friends and loved ones (including three of his five wives) who lived his live with and alongside him lends a vivid drama to (what is for me) familiar information. If you don't know the facts of Dick's life, this will be all the more gripping, if not startling. It's also sad, as the pain and chaos of his life seeps from the anecdotes recounted by those who recall him. But, as K.W. Jeter says, in celebration, Dick "didn't die crazy, he didn't die a lunatic!" In the end, after all the turmoil and perhaps even delusion, Dick died having achieved a clarity, having maintained a grip on sanity. And he left a powerful, if uneven, body of work that continues to speak to our condition as humans in the world we have made.
I dock the dvd one star primarily because the framing device within which Dick's life is told is ham-fisted and cliched: two "private eyes (dicks)," one even wearing a pistol in a shoulder holster, hole up in a room, smoking cigs, listening to tape recorders, filing through dossiers, making notes, tacking photos to a bulletin board, listening to a "control voice" over a speaker in the room (the film's sparse narration), attempting to get to the bottom, it seems, of the conundrum of Dick's "mystical experience."
I only dock the rating one star for this irritating hokum, as the content that makes up most of the documentary--interviews with Dick's longtime intimates, visits to places he lived, extensive footage of Dick's speech at the 1977 science fiction convention in Metz, France--is so compelling that one is thankful to have it, even with the impediment of the framing device.
This is HIGHLY recommended for all who are interested in Dick or his work.