Beyond the Cloud review: a new vaping movie [watch it here]

You may have to wait a few weeks to see A Billion Lives in your city, but you can watch Beyond the Cloud today

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beyond-the-cloud-the-filmmakers
Beyond the Cloud - the filmmakers

Vapers who are still patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for the theatrical release of A Billion Lives now have something to ease their hunger for vaping movies. Best of all, you can watch it right now!

Beyond the Cloud is a feature-length documentary from two French filmmakers, and produced by VapExpo. Directors Ghyslain Armand and S├ębastien Duijndam have taken a different approach than Aaron Biebert did with A Billion Lives, but the films have some similarities.

Henri Guybet
Henri Guybet

Both are beautifully photographed, and both explore the reasons vaping isn’t widely accepted by the public health establishment, or by the public. But Beyond the Cloud is about vaping and vapers much more than A Billion Lives is.

The narrator (director and French journalist Armand) takes us through interviews with researchers, public health advocates, politicians, vaping luminaries and business owners, tobacco industry executives, and vapers. They’re divided into segments separated by short interviews with random people on the street, and tied together by brief and thoughtful comments from Armand.

Brigitte Aubert
Brigitte Aubert

Most affecting are the interviews with French vapers, especially the older ones. All vapers understand the miraculous nature of vaping. But it’s especially powerful to see the joy on 60- and 70-year-old faces as they finally discover a way out after a lifetime trapped by cigarettes.

Vapers will recognize familiar faces among the interview subjects. Phil Busardo is here. So are Oliver Kershaw of ECF, Not Blowing Smoke’s Stefan Didak, and modern e-cigarette inventor Hon Lik.

Oliver Kershaw
Oliver Kershaw

The filmmakers interview a Philip Morris International executive who proudly explains that the they hope their harm reduction products will make up 10-15 percent of the conglomerate’s portfolio within 5-10 years. Narrator Armand exposes the disgusting absurdity of that statement with a few choice words. The film draws a sharp line between the tobacco industry and the independent vape businesses that will be destroyed by disproportionate regulation that favors tobacco.

In all, the photography is beautifully done, the music is excellent, and the interviews are conducted and edited wonderfully. I wish the English subtitles were done more carefully, but that’s a minor quibble.

Beyond the Cloud is a top-notch film about a subject we all know well, and one that desperately needs mainstream exposure. Share it with everyone!

Images courtesy Vapexpo – Beyond the Cloud (all rights reserved)

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Jim McDonald
I spend most of my time studying the regulatory, legislative and scientific challenges to vaping, advocating for our right to exist, and talking with others who do the same. Consider me a source for information, and feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say. I love good coffee and sweet Michigan cherries. My childhood hero was Gordie Howe.