Posted by: | March 24, 2009 | Comments Off on Traffic

This was probably one of my favourites this term. Thinking about it, it was pretty similar to Touch of Evil: US and Mexican authorities attempting to solve a problem, corruption, etc.
This movie provides many interesting perspectives on the drug war. We are able to witness the ruthless violence involved in the distribution cartels in Tijuana, the effects of its consumption in the US, and how authorities approach it and deal with it. I find that this makes Traffic an important movie, as the drug war is a major issue in this time at the US. It asks the audience to decided which approach and policy is best in dealing with drug issues, especially with the huge market between Mexico and the US. I enjoyed having a more holistic picture of the drug trade, in comparison to a movie like Requiem for a Dream where there is a strong focus on the users. But although the film proposes that the audience consider approaches to drug policy, I think it is indirectly condemning the war on drugs.
This movie condemns the war on drugs not in an extremely direct fashion, but simply by showing aspects of the drug trade. What the audience is left with is: relentless violence and murders, corruption at the highest level, easy availability of drugs to teenagers (even the daughter of the US drug czar, quite a powerful statement). She claims that she doesn’t drink much because it’s easier for someone her age to get drugs. The witness the two American cops are protecting makes us realize this shortly before his death, too. He makes the cops feel absurd about their positions since no matter what they do, the drugs will still be available. The daughter’s friend also tells the drug czar that it’s economically impossible for the drug cartels to stop: with 300%+ markups as a result of the drugs illegality it’s extremely easy for people to make big money. In the end, we see a conservative drug czar being open to listening, and possibly changing his mind. It’s a nice approach, though, as the film isn’t “preaching”.
Definitely an interesting look at the relations between the US and Mexico, too.


Comments are closed.

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind

Spam prevention powered by Akismet