New Brazilian movie raises awareness about the use of synthetic drugs and international trafficking of narcotics
04 May, 2012 - Filmed in Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro, and the beach of Paiva, in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, the most recent Brazilian movie "Paraísos Artificiais", premiered on Friday 04, reproduces big rave parties in Brazil and Europe. During a festival of art and alternative culture accompanied by the soundtrack of electronic music, three individuals - international DJ Erica (Nathalia Dill), vivacious Nando (Luca Bianchi) and adventurous Lara (Livia de Bueno) - go through intense experiences that bring serious consequences for the rest of their lives.
The film brings to light the need for different sectors of society to recent information about the effects and risks related to synthetic drugs, especially in the context of youth culture, including poly-drug use, overdoses, unprotected sex, and international drug trafficking.
Directed by Marcos Prado, who became known in the film industry for the movies Tropa de Elite e Tropa de Elite II (Elite Squad and Elite Squad II), the movie was pre-exhibited in a private session on Thursday, 03, in Brasília, Brazil to guests and youngsters from the program "Jovem de Expressão" (Youth of Expression), implemented by UNODC.
The exhibition was followed by a debate that gathered over 120 youngsters who had the opportunity to discuss with Marcos Prado, actors Luca Bianchi and Lívia de Bueno, youth leader Davidson Pereira, and the regional representative of UNODC, Bo Mathiasen.
During the debate, issues like a conscious freedom of choice, access to quality information, the opportunity of having healthy choices, and a health approach to drug addiction a raised from a curious and motivated audience.
A sentence from the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho resumes the tone of the debate: "The greatest danger of drugs is that it kills the most important thing you need in life: the decision making power. Drugs are really fantastic, and you will like them. But, be careful, because you will not be able to decide anything else anymore".
In search of facts to develop the fiction movie, Marcos Prado, interviewed police officers and drug dealers, treatment facilities, and visited rave parties and festivals in different countries.
"Unfortunately, synthetic drugs show an increasing trend all over the world. We do not only have more synthetic drugs, but more kinds of synthetic drugs. It is a great challenge to know what will be the next combination, the next synthetic drug on the market", said Bo Mathiasen.
The private group Caixa Seguros, UNODC funding partner in the Youth of Expression Program, invested some USD$ 800,000 in the production of the movie. In return, 6% of the movie´s income will be reverted to the Youth of Expression Program.
UNODC has supported the debate around the movie with data regarding synthetic drugs, as presented in the 2011 ATS Global Assessment, as well as fostering discussions on synthetic drugs, the context and risks of use, and drug trafficking from Europe to Brazil.
The Jovem de Expressão program was created in 2007 by Caixa Seguros and since 2010 has been implemented by UNODC. The program is aimed at empowering youngsters to overcome vulnerabilities associated to drugs, violence, and HIV/Aids.