Cocaine Unwrapped

This is not the first time I write here about the war on drugs, the debates around it and some changes in drug policies in selected countries.

These debates arise in multiple formats and one of them is documentary films. There is a kind of ‘boom’ of films and documentaries that cover this issue with different positions and points of view (although it must be recognized: most of them are quite critical).

The House I Live In, by Eugene Jarecki, is a detailed account of the drug war in the US and its impact. This film was awarded the Jury Special Prize in Sundance (2012). Breaking the Taboo is part of a campaign to support the positions and conclusions of the Global Commission on Drug Policy. With the voice of Morgan Freeman guiding us, former presidents like Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter take position here. It can be watched (or bought) in iTunes.

But now I want to talk about Cocaine Unwrapped (2011), by Rachel Seifert, about the drug war in America. A Colombian peasant that has managed to avoid joining the guerrilla thanks to a few coca plants; representatives of the cocaleros in Bolivia explaining the system implemented by the current Government to respect the traditional and cultural uses of coca leaves; the war in Mexico, and hopelessness in Baltimore streets (that will resonate among followers of The Wire). All them are different sides of the same problem.

This is the Review I have published in Global Policy (September 18). I encourage you to see it.