Friday, July 23, 2010

Traffic (2000)

This is a solid movie. The Mexican drug trade involves a variety of people on both sides of the border. A new drug czar (Michael Douglas) has vowed to fight harder against drug consumption using different techniques. At home he is confronted with his 16-year-old honor student daughter who is caught inhaling cocaine. A wealthy family man is arrested for trading drugs and his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) resorts to extreme measures to get the charges dropped. A poor but honest Mexican cop is challenged by the legal corruption in his own country.

The film is an adaptation of the 1989 British television series Traffik. The film won Academy Awards for: Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Film Editing, and Best Adapted Screenplay. In 2004, USA Network ran a miniseries - also called Traffic - that was based on this film and the previous British series. The title of drug czar was created by a Senate vote in 1982. The character General Arturo Salazar is closely modeled after Mexican General Jesús Gutiérrez Rebollo. The Obregón brothers are modeled after the Arellano Félix brothers. Mexico created a drug czar equivalent in 1996 when their Attorney General chose a director for the National Institute to Combate Drugs.

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