Dadah Is Death

Watch Dadah Is Death

  • NR
  • 1988
  • 3 hr
  • 6.8  (190)

Dadah Is Death is a gripping, emotional drama that explores the true story of an Australian woman named Barbara Barlow (played by Julie Christie) and her son, Kevin Barlow (played by John Polson), who were both convicted and sentenced to death in Malaysia for drug trafficking in 1983. The film opens with Barbara and her husband, Peter (played by Rod Mullinar), receiving the devastating news that their son Kevin has been arrested in Malaysia for drug trafficking. Barbara travels to Malaysia to support her son and try to help him get released, but soon finds herself caught up in a legal nightmare that threatens to destroy her family.

As Barbara fights to clear her son's name and get him released, she discovers that the Malaysian government's drug laws are much harsher than those in Australia, and that drug trafficking carries a mandatory death penalty. She also realizes that Kevin is not the only Australian to have been caught up in this brutal system, and that there are many other young people from her country facing the same fate.

As the years go by and Barbara and Peter struggle to maintain their sanity and hold on to their hope, Kevin and his fellow inmate, Brian Chambers (played by Hugo Weaving), languish in prison and face brutal treatment at the hands of the authorities. The film captures the horrors of life in a foreign prison, as well as the intense emotional pain experienced by the Barlow family.

The film is beautifully shot and features a standout performance by Julie Christie as Barbara Barlow. Christie brings an incredible depth and range to the character, capturing Barbara's grief, anger, and determination with equal skill. Hugo Weaving is also excellent as Brian Chambers, providing a strong counterpoint to Kevin Barlow's more impulsive nature.

The film also does an excellent job of highlighting the political and cultural clashes that arise from this case. The Australian government comes under intense pressure to intervene and save the lives of Kevin and Brian, but they are ultimately unable to do so. The Malaysian government, meanwhile, is shown to be incredibly ruthless and indifferent to the pleas of the Barlow family.

Overall, Dadah Is Death is a powerful, heartbreaking film that tells an important story about the brutal realities of drug laws and the devastating impact they can have on families. The film has resonance beyond its specific case, highlighting the need for greater awareness and cooperation between nations in the fight against drugs. Anyone interested in social justice issues or the impact of drug laws on families will find much to appreciate in this powerful work of cinema.

Dadah Is Death
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    3 hr
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (190)