• Short Summary

    Educational film showing the growth and effects of the opium poppy.

  • Description

    Wardour Films Ltd. presents a British Instructional Films production.

    Seeds pour out from poppy pod. Microscopic shot of opium poppy seeds. Time lapse photography of the seed growing. The root puts out hairs. The stem and leaves emerge from the ground. Leaves unfurl and the flower appears. An underfed poppy. Time lapse of the poppy flower opening and closing. C/U of the antlers of the poppy. Bees collecting pollen from the flower. C/U of the seed capsule. Time lapse of the seeds ripening. The capsule opens. Empty seed capsule. Stem being cut to show the white fluid which oozes out. It is known as latex and is full of opium. Insects collecting on leaves and stem of poppy to "dope themselves" with the opium. Capsule is cut to show the latex oozing from the splits. Microscopic shot of the latex.

    Voiceover observes: "The latex making patterns as fantastic as any dreams it will afterwards produce in the brain of an opium smoker." The latex is spread on to boards for the opium to dry. Shots of men "in the East" scraping dried opium off boards, weighing the drug, rolling it into shape and wrapping it up. A man lights his opium pipe with a red hot coal from a brazier. Man then lies down in a "heavily drugged sleep". We see what the narrator describes as payment for the pleasure. A "trembling old beggar" who was once one of the healthiest and richest men in a Persian town is shown staggering along with the help of a stick. He is described as: "doped - a slave of the opium poppy". Shot of a poppy opening.

    Note: interesting early anti-drugs film!

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:14:39:00 / 01:22:59:00

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