Here’s a movie that’s older than I am, and yet amazingly, maybe even shockingly, pertinent to today.
To the Ends of the Earth (1948) stars Dick Powell as a U.S. Treasury agent trying to bust up an international drug ring. Set in 1935, it might as well be now.
This film gave me an insight I’d never had before: the drug trade and human trafficking feed on one another: you don’t have one without the other. Agent Barrows gets one look at the human trafficking aspect of the crime–and I ought to warn you, it’s an intense scene–and devotes himself to bringing the criminals to justice.
To do that, he has to travel all over the world–to China, Egypt, Lebanon, Cuba, and then back to New York. Wherever he goes, he has to liaise with his local counterparts–men of all different countries, all working together to protect the world from organized evil. Here we cross over into fantasy-land, because all these guys are brave, unselfish, cooperative, and pure… instead of being unspeakably corrupt themselves.
But the idealism behind the film does come through, and I found it rather affecting. If only things could really be that way!
Alas: how could organized crime exist without criminals in government?
Nowadays we’re dealing with Mexican drug cartels, international bad guys in China and Iran and Russia helping them along, and massive human trafficking across our ruptured southern border. These are evils countenanced by the Democrat Party, whose leaders work hard to block reform. Whether they’re getting paid off by Communist China or just acting out of pure perversity depends on the individual.
We still have the problems dealt with in this film; but the idealism is now in short supply.