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American Drug War: The Last White Hope (2007)

 |  Documentary, Crime
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 1,485 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

The War on Drugs has become the longest and most costly war in American history, the question has become, how much more can the country endure? Inspired by the death of four family members ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Joe Arpaio ...
Himself (as Sheriff Joe Arpaio)
Jello Biafra ...
Himself - Activist
...
Himself (archive footage)
Jeff Blackburn ...
Himself - Civil Rights Attorney: Tulia, TX
Robert C. Bonner ...
Himself - Former Head of the DEA (archive footage) (as Robert Bonner)
Curt Booth ...
Himself - Psychedelic Movement
Dorothy Booth ...
Herself (archive footage) (as Dorothy Ann Booth)
...
Eddie Bravo ...
Himself
Chico Brown ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Celerino Castillo III ...
Himself - DEA Agent
Paris Chong ...
Himself - Son of Tommy
...
Himself - Private Prison Prisoner
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Storyline

The War on Drugs has become the longest and most costly war in American history, the question has become, how much more can the country endure? Inspired by the death of four family members from "legal drugs" Texas filmmaker Kevin Booth sets out to discover why the Drug War has become such a big failure. Three and a half years in the making the film follows gang members, former DEA agents, CIA officers, narcotics officers, judges, politicians, prisoners and celebrities. Most notably the film befriends Freeway Ricky Ross; the man many accuse for starting the Crack epidemic, who after being arrested discovered that his cocaine source had been working for the CIA. AMERICAN DRUG WAR shows how money, power and greed have corrupted not just dope fiends but an entire government. More importantly, it shows what can be done about it. This is not some 'pro-drug' stoner film, but a collection of expert testimonials from the ground troops on the front lines of the drug war, the ones who are ... Written by Kevin Booth

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Featured in The Green Room with Paul Provenza: Episode #2.6 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not Impressed...
6 June 2012 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

This is a documentary, but it is obviously not even close to journalism. The maker of the film shows far too much bias to be taken seriously by me, and I am surprised to see the high rating this film has on IMDb. I watched this in the hopes of getting a fairly nuanced exposé on the US "War on Drugs" and in extension the plague of drug addiction that has swept the world for decades now. I got nothing of the sort. The film-maker comes across as an ex-stoner (?) with no real ambition to get clean (he is on Suboxone?). The problem with some addicts is that they fear discomfort almost more than anything else, and thus tend to exaggerate the ill effects of opiate withdrawal - not seldomly this is drug seeking behavior. Opiate withdrawal can be acute in some cases, and it is uncomfortable for a while. But I feel that suboxone, subutex and so on are crutches for people who won't (rather than can't) stop in the long run. The whole film sometimes comes across like one man's personal excuse to keep on doing opiates. I believe that it is much, much harder to quit smoking than to stop doing opiates. Besides, I dare any "virgin" to do a small hit of suboxone and then tell me its not intoxicating! (You may want to consider the fact that this is illegal first...)

The film seems ambitious enough at first, but after a while it deteriorates into a pro-marijuana rant. It also suffers from poor editing, and its far too long. I wondered if the film-maker was high/stoned at some points. Especially when he asked the sheriff about "countries like Amsterdam". News flash: Amsterdam is not a country. It is a city in the Netherlands.

I take this as a clear symptom that the film hasn't been fact-checked enough to be taken seriously. In some parts it really looks like the film-maker is just hearing what he wants to hear without questioning the validity of the statements made by some people. It is a pity, since he paints a believable picture of the US War on Drugs in the first half of the film. But sadly, I am not certain what I should believe because of the shoddy workmanship.


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