MOVIES ARE REEL –
Dec. 12, 2021 – Another somewhat common take can be seen in films such as Martin Scorcese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, where a young businessman quickly becomes corrupt as he’s overwhelmed with power and money—much of which he spends on extravagances and drugs. The film demonstrates in an almost comical manner the harm of persistent drug use, as well as the denial that comes along with it. Similarly to My Own Private Idaho, however, the film doesn’t show the tiring struggle that comes with recovery. This way of telling the story can be justified, considering many drug addicts are not always able to fully recover or even begin the journey to do so.
What none of these films address, or even hint at, are the heightened disparities in the drug industry, with specific reference to race. Films that do address this topic are either not well known in Hollywood or not very widely distributed. The deep-rooted oppression built into laws and stereotypes surrounding drugs has disproportionately affected people of color, and this is not often represented in the entertainment industry. This makes it very difficult for any of these films, as well as our entertainment industry as a whole, to claim an accurate representation of drug use in our society.