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'Kill the Messenger' UK release Friday 6 March

NSC News | Thursday, 5 March 2015 |

Mural in Leon depicting the consequences of CIA sabotage in Nicaragua in the 1980s

Mural in Leon depicting the consequences of CIA sabotage in Nicaragua in the 1980s

This Universal Pictures film tells the story of the 1980s link between the CIA, the Nicaraguan contras and a crack cocaine epidemic in African – American communities in the US.

"Kill the Messenger," will be showing at 107 cinemas around the UK from Friday 6 March. For details of showings see http://www.filmdates.co.uk/films/7182-kill-the-messenger/

The film tells the story of Gary Webb, one of the most vilified figures in US investigative journalism. In 1996, the San Jose Mercury published Webb’s explosive series "Dark Alliance" revealing links between the CIA, the Nicaraguan contras and the crack cocaine trade ravaging African-American communities in the US.

This racket involved the US-backed contras, supported by the CIA, smuggling cocaine into the US, then using the profits to fund their own operations. This significantly fuelled the widespread crack cocaine epidemic in US cities in the 1980s.

For the Reagan administration, removing the Sandinistas from power in Nicaragua - however murky the means - was far more important than stopping the flow of drugs into US towns and cities. This trade not only destroyed lives but also acted as a catalyst for gang warfare.

Gary Webb wrote: “This drug network opened the first pipeline between Colombia’s cocaine cartels and the black neighbourhoods of Los Angeles, a city now known as the 'crack' capital of the world."

A CIA inspector later corroborated Webb’s findings. However, by that time his career as a mainstream media journalist had been destroyed and he committed suicide in 2004.

‘Cuesta and Renner (a producer), along with a cast including Rosemarie DeWitt, Oliver Platt and Ray Liotta, deserve commendation for making such a scary and bleak story so compelling, so powerful and so damning. ’ John Paterson, The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/mar/02/kill-the-messenger-jeremy-renner

Directed by: Michael Cuesta

Written by: Peter Landesman, Nick Schou and Gary Webb

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jeremy Renner, King, Ray Liotta, Michael Sheen, Robert Patrick, Michael Kenneth Williams, Paz Vega, Barry Pepper, Andy Garcia, Rosemarie DeWitt and Oliver Platt

Trailer available on http://www.focusfeatures.com/kill_the_messenger