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The heroin wars

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  • "In 1964, director Adrian Cowell ("The Decade of Destruction") and cameraman Chris Menges ("The Killing Fields") went to the mountainous Shan region of eastern Burma to film the emerging Shan revolutionary forces in their bloody civil war against the fascist military dictatorship. The impoverished Shans had only one way to finance their war of liberation -- opium. Cowell has returned to Shan State several times over the last 30 years to record the ongoing civil war and the burgeoning opium trade. The heroin wars story is told in three parts"--Container.


  • "Filmed over thirty years, 1964-1996."
  • Originally produced in 1996.
  • DVD, NTSC.
  • Narration in English; some Burmese with English subtitles.


  • 1. The opium convoys -- 2. Smack city -- 3. The kings of opium
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