I was asked recently what my screenplay was about. I often give people the logline; when the government targets junkies for genocide, a self-righteous policeman fights to save his drug using sister. This time I said “it’s about the cruelty of prohibition.” I realised today it’s not about the cruelty of prohibition, it’s about the fight between freedom and security.
The fight between freedom and security is at the core of the war on drugs. Think about the rhetoric of prohibition. War. Protection. Threat. Danger. Safety. They all frame drugs and their users as dangerous, a threat to our way of life, we have to protect ourselves.
At the core of peoples desire to take drugs is rebellion, a desire to reject the values of the wider society, to be free. I’ve mentioned this dynamic before when writing about the conflict between Adam and Reiner, they’re fighting over the kind of world they want to live in. Reiner demands a world of security.
In the end Adam is fighting for a world of freedom. He doesn’t get it, the fight for freedom has only just begun, but the realisation brings the end of his journey.