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Flowers of Darkness (1972)

This short films traces the history of opium and examines contemporary heroin trade and addiction in the United States.




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Credited cast:
Himself - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vernon Hann ...
Himself - District Director, Bureau of Customs
Jack Hurst ...
Sherman N. Kieffer ...
Himself - Associate Director for Patient Care, N.I.M.H.
Charles Siragusa ...

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In the harsh realities of life on earth, Mother Nature has provided some plants that some use to subdue those harsh realities. One of those plants, which grows wild in most hot temperature countries, is the opium poppy. The use of opium dates as far back as 4,000 B.C. in the Mediterranean region. Cultivation of the plant and its use to produce opium quickly spread south and east, with its use in more recent times being associated with China. Despite the devastating effects of opium, it has been a romanticized substance in much of literature. In the 19th century, German scientists refined the substance into heroin, which is injected directly into the blood stream to the central nervous system for the immediate "hit". Heroin itself is not only lethal in high doses, but is also addictive. Criminal elements, especially French Corsicans, are now dealing illicitly in the substance. Most heroin in its raw form enters the US through the port of New York with a secondary entry point being the ... Written by Huggo

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Documentary | Short





Release Date:

1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Distant Drummer: Flowers of Darkness  »

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User Reviews

A big educational, a bit boring....
7 December 2016 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This was an odd little short for TCM to play but they did and I somehow got through it. The film is about the so-called 'French Connection' though the movie (which came out a year earlier) was never mentioned. How the port of Marseille and Corsica were involved in the global heroin and marijuana industry was much of the film as well as a bunch of very square folks talking about how bad drugs were. It did seem odd that such a dangerous drug as heroin was somehow linked with pot. Also mentioned is the drug program Synanon and the film sang its praises. Interestingly, only a few years later this California-based drug treatment program would be broken up following widespread reports of organized crimes-- including murders! A strange, cult-like atmosphere apparently permeated their treatment centers!

Overall, a very dull film that has some valuable information, some misinformation and not much that would encourage folks to watch it today.

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