During my recent visit back to Jersey, I had the opportunity to attend a screening of a movie titled 'How To Make Money Selling Drugs,' and I was told that the producer of the film was Adrian Grenier alongside independent film company Bert Marcus Productions. I also found out that would be attendance to answer questions about the film. I was instantly interested because I am huge fan of 'Entourage' and it was a huge influence on why I currently reside in Los Angeles.
The screening was held at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York. A very fitting place to meet Vince Chase. The dialogue was set to happen with Grenier and members the React to Film organization. I quickly learned about how this organization is using film to help young people learn, dialogue and engage with real life issues. I was really inspired by their message and the mission they were trying to accomplish. I would recommend checking out more about their movement if you are into film.
I did not know what to expect from a movie with such a bold title but what I saw surpassed all of my expectations. The movie is documentary that examines the drug trade from top of bottom. It talks about how you rise from a low level dealer to a Cartel Kingpin relatively easily if you study your history. Consider this your 'drug trade for dummies' guide to the lucrative but dangerous drug business. Despite the image you might think from hearing the title, this was a well researched and well documented film with great info.
I was intrigued and pulled in by the flow of the movie. As it took you through the workings of criminal drug organizations, you would also start to see the clear fallacies and mistakes of prohibition. You would see how the drug was has affected so many minorities in America and Mexico. You would see how lobbyists, crooked politicians and the business of prison rule the drug war. This is really an activism movie with an entertaining twist that will keep you wanting more. Many of the people interviewed in the movie are people I have spoken with or interviewed myself. Here is a breakdown from the producers of the film on all the guest interviewees:
Told from the perspective of former drug dealers, and featuring interviews with rights advocates Russell Simmons, Susan Sarandon, and David Simon (creator of “The Wire”), the film gives you the lessons you need to start your own drug empire while exposing the corruption behind the "war on drugs."
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson
Freeway Rick Ross
John E. Harriel Jr
Judge James P. Gray
Stanford Neill Franklin
Pepe (Jorge Gonzalez)
Overall I really enjoyed the movie and I can definitely see it being something that can be used to share the downsides of the drug war with younger peers while also educating them on the drug trade. This movie does not glamorize it anymore than society does in movies or music videos. It tells you that you can make a ton of money and all the great things that come with it. It does not sugar coat that but it will also let you know from real drug lords the downsides of it. You will walk away with a lot more knowledge about the drug war as a whole.
I did eventually get to meet Adrian Grenier.
Opens Wednesday, June 26
IFC Center (New York, NY)
Opens Tuesday, July 2
O Cinema (Miami, FL)