There’s No True Freedom in Traffic in Soderbergh’s Thriller Movie

Helena Ayala lived a happy life with her husband and her son. However, all of that changed when Carlos is arrested. She is then forced to take risky measures just so she can bring her family back together and lessen the problems that they have. She and her son are threatened as Carlos owes $3,000,000 to the Obregons. We can see that violence is used here. Later on in the movie, she hires Francisco Flores, or Frankie, to kill Eddie during the trial so her husband can be set free. She was voluntarily passive in this situation as she herself hired Frankie. She knew what she was getting into as well, and was fully aware of it. Even though it was a risky task, she went through with it and so it can be considered a perfectly voluntary act. Though it is such, we can see that Helen is trapped in a dangerous situation. She does not have the capacity to do what she really wants to as she has no other choice than to have Eddie killed. Frankie plants a bomb under a car, but Tigrillo spots him and ends up shooting Frankie. The bomb, instead of killing Eddie who decided to go for a walk instead, kills Ray. We can see that the intention of killing Eddie was not met, and instead takes the lives of both Francisco Flores and Ray Castro. With this, there was an indirectly voluntary effect, in other words unintentional.

Through these characters and the rest of the characters of Traffic, we can see that these people do not have true freedom. Some of them are directly affected as they are the ones under the influence of drugs, while some are indirectly affected as the issue of drugs was brought to the family. One issue that relates to a lot of teenagers is the issue of drug-abuse, seen in the situation of Caroline Wakefield. This often leads to sexual intercourse without consent, or rape. According to Humanae Vitae, “The sexual activity, in which husband and wife are intimately and chastely united with one another, through which human life is transmitted, is, as the recent Council recalled, ‘noble and worthy.’” We can see here that sexual intercourse is a sacred act and should not be something that one can take advantage of. People have to learn to respect the bodies of other people as stated in the same Papal Encyclical, “‘Human life is sacred–all men must recognize that fact,’ Our predecessor Pope John XXIII recalled. ‘From its very inception it reveals the creating hand of God.’” Other than that, drugs will also affect one’s dignity. As said in Dignitatis Humanae, “God has regard for the dignity of the human person whom He Himself created and man is to be guided by his own judgment and he is to enjoy freedom.” As God’s creations, we have the ability to abuse our freedom to hurt ourselves and violate our dignity, and this is common through drugs. We must learn to respect and care for ourselves as drugs have caused many issues in the youth, even death.

In the end, we are all free to do what we wish and to become what we want to become. However, because freedom exists, evil exists as well, and it is our task as Christians to try and avoid these evils. Drugs are common within the youth nowadays, but we must realize the harmful effects of these. We have to care for our dignity and respect our bodies, as these are God’s gifts to us.

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