A few times every year, journalists, artists, and filmmakers try to make the case to end America’s war on drugs. Expensive, ineffectual, corrupting … the list of reasons is legion. Yet nothing ever quite seems to change.
The latest salvo in this effort in Matthew Clarke’s compelling if overly jokey documentary, How to Make Money Selling Drugs, which is playing now in limited release after a number of successful festival screenings. Filled with interviews with dealers themselves (from “Freeway” Rick Ross to 50 Cent), as well as DEA agents, narcotics officers, and the random user (Eminem) and commentator (The Wire‘s David Simon), it’s got something for just about everyone.
My full review is at Film Journal International; here’s part of it:
… Cooke means the title to be taken quite seriously…sort of. Setting itself up as a kind of instructional video for would-be drug dealers, the film is structured as a step-by-step “training guide” to making it to the top of a viciously competitive but highly lucrative (albeit illegal) industry. Cooke advances his film level by level through the various layers of criminal enterprise (“Level One: Getting Started” to the top level: Cartels), examining all the operational hazards and institutional hypocrisies encountered along the way…
You can watch the trailer here: