Drug prohibition laws began to emerge in the United States, Canada, and Britain during the same era that saw the discovery of film. In Hooked, Susan C. Boyd explores over a century of American, British, and Canadian films containing fictional representations of drug use, the drug trade, and the war on drugs. She examines not only popular, mainstream films but also counterculture, alternative, and 'stoner' movies, including Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, and Trailer Park Boys: The Movie. On-screen depictions of drug use and trafficking are powerful indicators of evolving socio-cultural attitudes towards illegal drugs. Using films such as Broken Blossoms, The Trip, Superfly, Traffic, and Trainspotting, Boyd explores how illegal drugs are linked to discourses of the Other, nation building, and law and order. Her discussion takes into account issues of race, class, and gender, and includes an important analysis of representations of women. A fascinating and groundbreaking study, Hooked uncovers the links between cinema and the cultural production of myths and stereotypes related to illegal drugs.
Susan C. Boyd is a professor in Studies in Policy and Practice at the University of Victoria.