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Heroin as hero: the ‘heroin chic’ film in European cinema (1995–2000)

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Abstract:

The ‘heroin chic’ film is one that glamorizes or romanticizes the use of drugs. It portrays attractive, usually middle-class young adults partying and seeking a heightened sense of experience. This ‘fun’ state of being is to be attained and intensified by taking various drugs. This is what the ‘beautiful people’, the ‘in’ crowd, the ‘hip’ generation are doing. Life is one continuous adventure; the ideal is to get ‘high’ as often and as long as possible. Also implied is the message that those who do not partake of the drug fantasy are hopelessly dull and missing out on real life. The negative aspects of drug use are rarely shown or they are underplayed. This type of film was popular in European cinema from 1995 to 2000. Films from Holland, Denmark, England, Greece, and Spain are discussed.

Keywords: European cinema; drug culture; drug films; heroin chic

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/seci.2.1.65/1

Affiliations: St. Peter's College.

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Studies in European Cinema provides an outlet for research into any aspect of European cinema and is unique in its interdisciplinary nature, celebrating the rich and diverse cultural heritage across the continent. The journal is distinctive in bringing together a range of European cinemas in one volume and in its positioning of the discussions within a range of contexts - the cultural, historical, textual, and many others.
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