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Afghanistan's Opium Trail

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School Bd/College/University DVD: $395


Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Filmakers Library
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 43 mins
Country of Origin: United States
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2008
Available in French: No

Over 90% of the world's opium now comes from Afghanistan.

This no-holds barred documentary follows this illicit industry, from the cultivation of the opium plants, to the processing of heroin, to the cross border smuggling that occurs between Afghanistan and Iran. The cameras actually catch the ambush of smugglers by Iranian guards in the rocky mountains of Afghanistan. We watch as opium is processed into heroin in the Afghan highlands. By using a car jack, the raw material is pressed, diluted, heated, and pressed again. The unlikely looking mixture is now ready for export.

The film focuses on the Afghan tribal leader who brokers the deal for the 400 villagers supplying him with opium. They depend on his patronage for their livelihood. Opium is the cash crop; without it their survival is at risk. For the Afghans it is a no win situation. For the much needed cash, the Afghans are faced with a grave problem. Their own young are turning to drugs. Traditionally drug addiction was one problem the Afghans never faced. After thirty years of war, Afghanistan is in ruins.