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Drugs film attacked for glamorising heroin

John Arlidge Scotland Correspondent
Friday 16 February 1996 00:02 GMT


Scotland Correspondent

The controversial new British film Trainspotting received its world premiere in Scotland last night. Thousands of people lined the streets around the Odeon, Glasgow, to watch actors and celebrities arrive at the launch of the fourth big Scottish feature of the past 12 months.

But unlike last year's Hollywood-inspired kilt movies, Rob Roy, Braveheart and Loch Ness, which have enjoyed critical acclaim, not everyone has welcomed the arrival of Trainspotting. The film, made by the Glasgow-based trio behind last year's top-selling British feature Shallow Grave, has been criticised for "glamourising" drug abuse.

The aggressively contemporary adaptation of Irvine Welsh's cult novel depicts four young low-lifers drifting in and out of heroin abuse in the deprived Muirhouse district of Edinburgh. They all enjoy using the illegal opiate which is described as "more than 1,000 times better than your best orgasm" - a slogan repeated on the film's advertising posters.

The catchphrase, and comments by the film's director, Danny Boyle, that the stylish low-budget film takes "no moral attitude", have prompted anti- drugs workers to condemn it. In Glasgow, where more than 100 addicts die each year from overdoses of heroin and other depressants, health professionals fear it could encourage a new generation of young people to experiment with drugs.

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