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Traffic (2000)

Drama and Spanish Language movie directed by Steven Soderbergh

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Drugs In America.

  • Mar 15, 2002
Drugs in America are a huge problem. Through various ministries I have worked with over the years I have learned that approximately 80% of homelessness and 75% of crime is a result in some way because of drugs. In the 1980s the U.S. federal government began a war on drugs. Yet, twenty years and billions of dollars later the problem has increased. It's a part of the universal battle of good versus evil and the battle can be wearisome and frustrates even the best.

It is this wearisome frustration that Steven Soderbergh brilliantly portrays in the movie TRAFFIC. Simply stated, TRAFFIC is about the war on drugs in America. The story the movie tells is related through three separate yet intricately intertwined tales. The film jumps from one scene to the next, back and forth, but without loosing one's attention.

The first storyline deals with a Mexican cop, Javier Rodriquez (Benicio Del Toro). Rodriquez is a good cop working amidst the sleeze and corruption of good people gone bad. Rodriquez fights against the powerful bureaucraticized drug cartels because he dreams of when children can play baseball safely again.

The second storyline revolves around Robert Wakefield (Michael Douglas), the newly appointed U.S. drug czar and his daughter Caroline (Erika Christensen). Unbeknownst to Wakefield, Caroline has become a hard addict, so much so that she eventually prostitutes herself for drugs. His daughters tribulation changes Wakefield's perception about abuses.

The final tale is a narration between a jailed drug lord (Steven Bauer), the takeover of the "family" business by his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones), and the two DEA Agents (Luis Guzman & Don Cheadle) working to convict the dealer and protect the key witness against him. It's a frightening look at ruthless famial loyalty and the anguish of our country's law enforcement.

The acting in TRAFFIC is superb, the directing prime, and the cinematography brilliant. Much has been made oer the movie's bleak tone. Nevertheless, though the film is dark it ends in light. The movie leaves one feeling frustrated, but hopeful. As long as the fight goes on, there is always hope.

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About this movie


Featuring a huge cast of characters, the ambitious and breathtakingTrafficis a tapestry of three separate stories woven together by a common theme: the war on drugs. In Ohio, there's the newly appointed government drug czar (Michael Douglas) who realizes after he's accepted the job that he may have gotten into a no-win situation. Not only that, his teenage daughter (Erika Christensen) is herself quietly developing a nasty addiction problem. In San Diego, a drug kingpin (Steven Bauer) is arrested on information provided by an informant (Miguel Ferrer) who was nabbed by two undercover detectives (Don Cheadle and Luis Guzmán). The kingpin's wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones), heretofore ignorant of where her husband's wealth comes from, gets a crash course in the drug business and its nasty side effects. And south of the border, a Mexican cop (Benicio Del Toro) finds himself caught between both his home country and the U.S., as corrupt government officials duke it out with the drug cartel for control of trafficking various drugs back and forth across the border.

Bold in scope, Traffic showcases Steven Soderbergh at the top of his game, directing a peerless ensemble cast in a gritty, multifaceted tale that will captivate you from beginning to end. Utilizing the no-frills techniques of the Dogme 95 school, Soderbergh enhances his hand-held filming with imaginative editing and film-stock manipulation that eerily captures the atmosphere of each location: a ...

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Director: Steven Soderbergh
Screen Writer: Simon Moore, Stephen Gaghan
Runtime: 147 minutes
Studio: Polygram USA Video
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"Drugs In America."
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