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A Series of 3 Programs
The Heroin Wars

The history of the narcotics trade in Burma.


A printer-friendly version of this page 151 minutes
Produced by Adrian Cowell with WGBH/Frontline



Here's the astounding history of the narcotics trade in Burma and the War on Drugs. In 1964, director Adrian Cowell ("THE DECADE OF DESTRUCTION") and cameraman Chris Menges ("THE KILLING FIELDS") went to the mountainous Shan region of eastern Burma to film the emerging Shan revolutionary forces in their bloody civil war against the brutal military dictatorship. The impoverished Shans had only one way to finance their war of liberation - opium. Cowell has returned to Shan State several times over the last 30 years to record the ongoing civil war and the burgeoning opium trade.

The titles in the series are:

The Opium Convoys - Lo Hsing-Han, Khun Sa and the beginning of the war on drugs.

Smack City - Hong Kong, the drug capital of southeast Asia for the last century.

The Kings of Opium - Khun Sa changes sides in the narcotics carousel.

Other films produced by Adrian Cowell are The Last of the Hiding Tribes series and The Decade of Destruction series.



Grade Level: 12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 1996     Copyright Date: 1996
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-678-0     VHS ISBN: 1-56029-676-3




Reviews
"Proving, again, that truth is far more intriguing than fiction, The Heroin Wars is documentary film making at its finest, a superb and skillfully told story which ultimately reveals that as long as there are supplies, and drug addicts, there will always be a drug trade. Highly recommended for purchase."
Gerald A. Notaro, University Librarian, University of South Florida MC Journal



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The Heroin Wars


"Documentary film making at its finest." Gerald A. Notaro, University of South Florida, MC Journal


Awards and Festivals
Gold Special Jury Award, Worldfest

Subjects
Asian Studies
Burma
Developing World
Drugs
History
Hong Kong
Human Rights
Humanities
International Studies
Political Science
Social Justice


Related Titles

Inside Burma
John Pilger investigates the history and brutality of the military dictatorship in Burma.

... more Reviews


"Essential viewing for anyone interested in the history of the narcotics trade and the war on drugs; highly recommended for academic libraries and world history collections."
Library Journal

"Extraordinary three-part investigation into Burma's billion dollar opium trade."
Daily Express




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