Fox is touting the ”unique storytelling style” of this made-for-TV movie, which follows a crop of Peruvian coca leaves as it is smuggled into America and turned into cocaine. The movie’s unifying conceit is that its main character is a thing, not a person, but this has been done before, most notably in a 1974 TV movie called The Gun, which followed a handgun through its various owners.
Like The Gun, which operated as a plea for gun control, Seeds of Tragedy has an obsessive message that overpowers its drama: Drugs are bad, they’re really bad, they’ll ruin your life, Just Say No.
And so, from the sweet-faced little Peruvian boy (Luciano Hernandez) whose labor is exploited in harvesting the crop, to the pathetic crack addict in inner-city America (Lahmard Tate), every character is hurt by cocaine. How odd that director Martin Donovan, who made the quirky, original 1988 film Apartment Zero, didn’t realize that all he was doing was sloganeering, not creating art or even entertainment. This is a dull, pious movie, enlivened only by the performance of Page Moseley (Jigsaw) as a ratty-haired drug dealer with a sinister smile. In the midst of noble blandness, the bad guy can’t help but seem the most interesting character. D