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Traffic  (2000)

IMDB Rating 7.7/10                     147 min  Rated 18                     Drama | Crime

Stars:            Michael Douglas, Ben De Toro, C Zeta Jones Director:      Steven Soderbergh

Two narcotics cops intercept a huge drug delivery on the borders of Mexico, only to have the haul and glory taken from them by a General Salazar. Meanwhile, in America, Robert Wakefield (Douglas) is given the impossible but eagerly accepted task of clamping down on the drug problem. Throw into the mix a group of privileged kids getting high on cocaine and wealthy housewife Helena La Jolla (Zeta-Zones) unknowingly lunching on the proceeds of her husband's drug deals and you have a film that really delves into all sides of the seedy world of drugs, from every possible perspective.  Originally a mini-television series written by Simon Moore, Traffik was developed into a feature film at a time when western governments were unsuccessfully fighting real-life drug wars, in a very public manner. Here, Soderbergh relates some of the real stories behind the headlines, albeit through fictionalized characters and scenarios. Class, background or status does not limit drug dealing and usage and that essentially is the problem. The dichotomy between tackling the issue hands-on at street level and overseeing it from the comfort of a plush office, are all too obvious. Neither approach works, but we realize it can't. The institutionalised drugs phenomenon is too huge for anyone to even make a dent in the armour of the supply trade, or to curb demand even slightly. When it is revealed that Wakefield's daughter is one of the drug-taking teenagers and General Salazar is profiting from his position of power, it seems the war is all but lost. However, like all great battles, the wounded keep fighting until the bitter end.