Drug Culture in Lost Weekend, Reaction Paper

Excerpt from Reaction Paper :

While Jacob's Ladder is a horror film, Jacob Singer, played by Tim Robbins, is haunted by hallucinations, which he is convinced are a result of secret government chemical or drug testing carried out on him during the Vietnam War. In this regard, Jacob's Ladder comments on the countless unknown substances that are secretly administered to unwilling subjects. This aspect of the film, although ultimately proving to be untrue as Jacob's hallucinations are a desperate attempt to cling to life and he really dies in Vietnam, focuses on a different aspect of drug culture: drug testing and manufacture. In Jacob's Ladder, Jacob and his fellow soldiers, serve as ersatz lab rats, considered to be disposable by the U.S. government.

On the other hand, the Insider, directed by Michael Mann, focuses on the power held by drug corporations and their ability to influence the media and public perceptions of individuals. The Insider is not specifically about drugs and drug use, but rather about the drug manufacturing industry itself. In the film, Jeffrey Wigand, played by Russell Crowe, admits that Brown & Williamson, a big tobacco company, has knowingly made their cigarettes more addictive through chemical infusions and that the company has continuously ignored public health concerns in order to make a profit. Furthermore, Wigand argues that big tobacco companies perjured themselves in testimony given to U.S. Congress by claiming to be ignorant about how addictive nicotine is/was. As a result of his whistleblowing, tobacco companies persecute Wigand, his reputation is ruined, and his life and the lives of his family are threatened. Through these actions, the audience is made aware of the ruthless nature of drug companies. Not only do they manipulate the public about their products, but they are also willing to manipulate the public's perception about individuals they consider to be a threat to their company. The Insider not only depicts the dangers of drug use, but also the danger of standing up to large drug manufacturers.

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