Traffik

Traffik

4.3 3
Director: Alastair Reid, Alastair Reid

Cast: Alastair Reid, Alastair Reid, Bill Paterson, Julia Ormond

     
 

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The five-hour miniseries Traffik gets stretched out onto two enthralling discs for this DVD release. A gripping tale that takes you deep inside the international drug trade, this BBC production became the basis for the excellent Steven Soderbergh movie Traffic. Both the audio and visual transfers are first-rate but tech hounds should keep in mind that …  See more details below

Overview

The five-hour miniseries Traffik gets stretched out onto two enthralling discs for this DVD release. A gripping tale that takes you deep inside the international drug trade, this BBC production became the basis for the excellent Steven Soderbergh movie Traffic. Both the audio and visual transfers are first-rate but tech hounds should keep in mind that Traffik was produced for the small screen and won't show off your flashy home entertainment system the way that a theatrical blockbuster like The Matrix will. The DVD includes interviews with screenwriter Simon Moore and series producer Brian Eastman, while a featurette explains how a TV series that spanned Britain, Germany, and Pakistan was turned into a movie set in America and Mexico. Don't believe the revisionist reviews that claim this TV series is infinitely deeper and more complex than the movie, each have their relative strengths and succeed on their own merits.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Patricia Kim O'Cone
Like director Steven Soderbergh's Traffic -- the Academy Award-winning feature film it inspired -- the 1989 British miniseries Traffik is a prism-like tale of agony, betrayal, and desperation that refracts the various stages in the illicit drug trade into a stunning panorama. This extraordinarily matter-of-fact view of the heroin-trafficking business spans two continents and three countries -- Pakistan, Germany, and England, with Jack Lithgow (Bill Paterson) at the heart of the dramatic ensemble. Lithgow, a British government minister sent to Pakistan to observe and recommend ways to combat that country's heroin problem, makes the acquaintance of Fazal (Jamal Shah), an impoverished Pakistani poppy farmer; and Karl (George Kukura), a prosperous German trafficker. On the other end of this heroin food chain is Lithgow's daughter Caroline, portrayed by Julia Ormond, who shows striking grit in her first major role. Also outstanding is Lindsay Duncan as Karl's glitzy wife, Helen, who basks in the prosperity resulting from her husband's criminality. The nearly five-and-a-half-hour miniseries offers a quiet critique of the loud, brash, power-driven trafficking business, provoking thought and emotion. As with director Soderbergh's adaptation, spellbound viewers of Traffik will likely find themselves feeling empathy for these richly drawn characters.
All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Though it's less stylish than Steven Soderbergh's big-screen version, the original miniseries Traffik displays more nuance and detail than the shorter, star-laden Oscar-winning remake. Writer Simon Moore's expansive script takes in more layers of the drug trade -- from the journalists who cover it and the dirt-poor farmers whose labor powers it to the street dealers who are far more prevalent than the preppie thrill-seekers of Soderbergh's version. Although the film is shot in a naturalistic palette, Traffik is not without a certain visual flair; the sequences set in Pakistan in particular introduce viewers forcefully to the mixture of beauty and squalor that serves as a backdrop to the genesis of narcotics production. Traffic does little to question the moral rightness of the American "war on drugs," but Traffik, by highlighting the economic and cultural realities of the developing world, paints a less cut-and-dry portrait of this international phenomenon. Bill Paterson's Jack Lithgow proves a less familiar, more human protagonist than Michael Douglas' grand standing drug czar, while Linda Bassett gets more to work with than Amy Irving does in the part of the government official's wife. All of the principals, in fact, acquit themselves admirably even when the writing reveals its television origins. It doesn't have the sparkle of a Hollywood showpiece, but in its place we get a script with a lot more gray areas, and a glimpse at the drug trade half a world away from our own backyard. In fact, the European and South Asian settings guarantee that Traffik will seem fresh even to rabid fans of the celebrated Traffic.
Entertainment Weekly
The original is better. It's a curmudgeonly statement -- cranky and almost cliché -- but in the case of the 1989 British miniseries that spawned Steven Soderbergh's Traffic, it happens to be true. Daniel Fierman

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/26/2001
UPC:
0054961480098
Original Release:
1989
Rating:
NR
Source:
Acorn Media
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[Dolby Digital]
Time:
5:25:00

Special Features

Interview with writer Simon Moore and producer Brian Eastman; Cast and crew filmographies; Production notes; Interactive menus; Scene selection

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bill Paterson Jack Lithgow
Julia Ormond Caroline Lithgow
Linda Bassett Rachel
Lindsay Duncan Helen Rosshalde
Fritz Muller-Scherz Ulli
Jamal Shah Fazal
Talat Hussain Tariq Butt
George Kukura Karl Rosshalde

Technical Credits
Alastair Reid Director
Alastair Reid Director
Eastman Brian Producer
Brian Eastman Producer
Jon Gregory Editor
Andreas Grosch Production Manager
Martyn Hebert Production Designer
Andrew John McClelland Editor
Simon Moore Screenwriter
Tim Souster Score Composer
Neil Thomson Editor
Clive Tickner Cinematographer
Hans Zillman Production Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Traffik
2. The Bust [9:24]
3. Seeing Everything [10:11]
4. A Deal [9:12]
5. Arrested [9:25]
6. Farmer's Struggle [10:16]
2. Caroline's Habit [9:24]
3. Home Recovery [10:11]
4. Looking For Work [9:12]
5. Taking Charge [9:25]
6. A New Job [10:16]
2. Money Problems [9:24]
3. Broken Trust [10:11]
4. Being Followed [9:12]
5. Ransom [9:25]
6. Another Chance? [10:16]
Disc #2 -- Traffik
2. Desperate [9:24]
3. Better Hit [10:11]
4. The Process [9:12]
5. Another Overdose [9:25]
6. Trap Set [10:16]
2. Back to Pakistan [9:24]
3. The Loss [10:11]
4. Understanding [9:12]
5. Doing Business [9:25]
6. Full Search [10:16]
2. Falling Apart [9:24]
3. Sculptures [10:11]
4. Searching [9:12]
5. Court Decision [9:25]
6. Finding Caroline [10:16]

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Traffik 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I haven't seen the DVD version yet, however, I did see the entire miniseries while it was being screened at The Museum of Television & Radio in NYC. If you liked Traffic, you will love Traffik. Very similar moments between the two films, however, the length of Traffik allows a better understanding of all aspects addressed in Traffic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was excellent. The longer format and pacing makes this miniseries vastly superior to the Hollywood version. Julia Ormond was wonderful.