Robert Thurman, the first American to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk, is an author, translator, and professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies at Columbia University in New York. His insights into Hollywood may be aided, too, by his experience as the father of the actress Uma Thurman. We chatted with him about Steven Soderbergh's movie "Traffic."
"Traffic," a dramatization of the War Against Drugs, intertwines the stories of a Mexican policeman (Benicio del Toro), a drug dealer's wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones), and a man appointed to head the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy (Michael Douglas). As the movie follows its characters to Tijuana,
Cincinnati, San Diego and Washington, D.C., the drug problem becomes a seamless line of culpability linking hardened criminals and high school kids. At the same time, it is in that same human interdependence that solutions may lie.