The Heroin Wars Series
The Kings of Opium
In the 1990s, the kings of opium in Burma switch sides in the narcotics carousel.
Produced by Adrian Cowell with WGBH/Frontline
The final program in the series "The Heroin Wars" returns to the Shans' war for independence, led by Khun Sa, the second "King of Opium". In 1993 the Shan People's Representative Committee declared itself no longer part of the union of Burma and the civil war moved to a new plane of brutality that shocked the world. Lo Hsing-Han meanwhile joined the government forces and eventually brings Khun Sa to his knees, regaining control once again over the narcotics trade, but this time for the military dictatorship.
"Extraordinary investigation into Burma's billion dollar opium trade."
Today both men are rich and powerful, and the amount of opium produced in Shan State has increased tenfold, flooding Europe and the United States with cheap heroin. In spite of massive US aid, no one has been brave enough to break the vicious circle that is the international drugs trade. The narcotics carousel will continue to turn, to the immense profit of everyone on board and to the intense suffering of the addicts and the Shan people.
Other titles in the series are:
The Opium Convoys - Lo Hsing-Han, Khun Sa and the beginning of the war on drugs.
Smack City - Hong Kong, the drug capital of southeast Asia, for the last century.
Grade Level: College, Adult
US Release Date: 1996
Copyright Date: 1996
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-681-0
VHS ISBN: 1-56029-679-8
"Proving, again, that truth is far more intriguing than fiction, The Heroin Wars is documentary film making at its finest, a superb and skillfully told story which ultimately reveals that as long as there are supplies, and drug addicts, there will always be a drug trade. Highly recommended for purchase."
Gerald A. Notaro, University Librarian, University of South Florida MC Journal
"Essential viewing for anyone interested in the history of the narcotics trade and the war on drugs; highly recommended for academic libraries and world history collections."
Awards and Festivals
Bronze Apple, National Educational Media Competition
John Pilger investigates the history and brutality of the military dictatorship in Burma.