Narrated by Colin Friels and produced by Chris Hilton, Afghanistan: Drugs, Guns and Money asks these difficult questions by following the journey of this years opium crops, tracing the drug trafficking routes heading north from Afghanistan through the nations of the Old Silk Road on its way to Europe.
The film examines who are the winners and losers as the crop finds its way to market. The awesome beauty of the landscape provides a powerful backdrop for the treachery uncovered each step of the way.
Like a cancer, the heroin trade has spread its tentacles through almost every level of society. In Afghanistan there is mass local addiction, local HIV epidemics, an unending cycle of violence and crime, and the corruption of state institutions.
With the war on terror raging, the war on drugs has slipped down the priority list of the current US administration. But, in the crucial frontline states of Central Asia, these two wars are inextricably linked... a fact all too often ignored.
The business is booming. Afghanistan and its near neighbors still supply around 80 per cent of the heroin sold in Western Europe. Yesterday's drug lords are today's cabinet ministers. How much of a problem is it for America (and the West) that many of its newest allies are implicated in one of the most lucrative drug routes in the world?