I feel that your comments take away from an extremely powerful film, that you demean it for petty reasons. In addition, it is not at all true that this movie "rehashes much that will be familiar to even the most casual reader of newspapers: This "war" is waged against the poor, particularly minorities." Many Americans still think the war on drugs is necessary because the drugs themselves are so dangerous. I have been studying the war on drugs, and studying drugs themselves--the effects, etc. (mind you, only part time--I'm a full time middle school English teacher) and I have never heard such strong arguments in favor of ending the war on drugs. Before this film, I didn't know the exact percentage difference in sentencing for powder cocaine versus soft. I didn't know that one could be imprisoned for life for carrying just 3 ounces of crystal meth in a car. I didn't know that police receive a lot of overtime in filling out paperwork for drug busts; that, in short, it's more lucrative to go after people selling drugs than to pursue a murderer.
What the movie doesn't mention is alcohol, one of the most dangerous drugs for many people. Of course this drug is legal. Everyone knows what happened when it was made illegal.
The fact that this powerful movie only played at the Kabuki for a weekend, and at the horrible Stonestown Theater for the same short run, makes me wonder--why? If more people saw this film, if more people got involved . . . .
To me, the imprisonment and attendant actions on so many non-violent offenders in the US is a crime in itself. The laws are unjust and we should not follow them or support them.