Distant Drummer: Flowers of Darkness (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #442 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Public Service]

This late 60s film chronicles the worldwide opium trade and the contemporary problems of narcotic addiction in the United States. For the most part, this is intelligently done, though somewhat dry. Near the end, they talk about the shift in social attitudes from viewing addicts as criminals to viewing them as suffering an illness and how that has changed public policy. Unfortunately, that was not to last, and would be replaced by the strident, and ineffective, “War on Drugs.” This film provides a good historical record of drug policy during the 60s.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.

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