Traffic (2000 film)

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Traffic is a 2000 American crime drama film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Stephen Gaghan. It explores the illegal drug trade from a number of perspectives: a user, an enforcer, a politician and a trafficker. Their stories are edited together throughout the film, though the characters do not meet. The film is an adaptation of the British Channel 4 television series Traffik.

20th Century Fox, the original financiers of the film, demanded Harrison Ford play a leading role and that significant changes to the screenplay be made. Soderbergh refused and proposed the script to other major Hollywood studios, but it was rejected because of the three-hour running time and the subject matter. USA Films, however, liked the project from the start and offered the film-makers more money than Fox. Soderbergh operated the camera himself and adopted a distinctive look for each story so that audiences could tell them apart.

Traffic was a commercial success with a worldwide total of $207.5 million, well above its estimated $46 million budget. It was also well-received critically and earned numerous awards, including four Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Film Editing, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

In 2004, USA Network ran a miniseries—also called Traffic—based on the American film and the earlier British television series.


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