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How to Make Money Selling Drugs

How to Make Money Selling Drugs

While securing a screener and finalizing info on opening dates, the phrase How to Make Money Selling Drugs found its way into many of my email subject lines. Hopefully the NSA and DEA don’t come calling, but if they do, I have a fascinating movie to recommend.

Matthew Cooke’s documentary on the cost of America’s War on Drugs is not the smug expose the title suggests. Cooke expertly molds his impressive pool of data into this sardonic shell, offering lessons to lead you to the success the title offers.

He approaches the lessons as one would approach a video game. There are levels to ascend – from street corner dealer all the way to cartel drug lord. Each stop offers background information (where to start, how much you can earn), as well as hints and tips galore. (Tips for basic smuggling – hire an ex-DEA officer to watch your back.)

What he’s actually done with all these clearly labeled nuggets embedded in well-defined categories is outline a comprehensive look at our drug culture.

Data-dense and expansive, How To quickly separates itself from the recent glut of drug-related docs. Cooke does not simply recommend legalization, noting the tax benefit and lessening crime that came from striking down Prohibition. Indeed, Cooke does not do anything simply.

He emphasizes the genuine danger of drug use as one of many related crises being improperly addressed because of the nation’s crime and punishment attitude. There’s the underlying racism in the basis and execution of the laws. Don’t forget the enforcement incentivizing, which creates an overzealous police force. And of course, there’s the simplicity in the facts of supply and demand. Cooke covers it all, and does so with richly textured, strangely entertaining narratives.

We hear from nearly every type of stakeholder: dealers, kingpins, police officers, informants, ex-DEA, politicians, lawyers, academics, and that guy who wrote The Wire (David Simon – disturbingly informative). While they may not all agree on the nuance of the issues, they paint a picture of a dangerously wrong-minded approach to the problem.

And Cooke is not satisfied to simply provide anecdotal evidence and opinion. This is not Fox News, after all. Rather, he populates his brisk 90 minutes with enough clarity, data and statistics on every imaginable front that it’s hard to believe his film is as engaging and entertaining as it is.

Thank the candor of Cooke’s subjects, and his own directorial skill.

— Hope Madden, Columbus Underground

How to Make Money Selling Drugs

Tue October 15, 2013, 7:00 & 9:00, Muenzinger Auditorium

USA, 2012, English, 96 mins, Color, DP, 1.85:1, NR

recommend

Tickets

10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.

Parking

Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.

RTD Bus

Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

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