An angry bear on coke is exactly the animal that best describes our world in 2023. A great service from Hollywood that a film about such a Cocaine Bear is coming to the cinemas right now. But that’s just one of the reasons I’m looking forward to it.
A comment by Claudio Müller
The title alone could not be more perfect. Cocaine (dt.: cocaine), a drug that increases the pulse, euphoric, stimulating, disinhibited. Bear, more precisely a black bear, one of the largest predators on our planet, legendary, powerful, dangerous.
It’s hard to believe that this combination is only now making it into a Hollywood film. And that’s only because it’s based on a true story. The short form: In 1985, a drug smuggler and former narcotics officer threw kilos of cocaine out of his plane because it was too heavy. He then jumped out of the plane and died. Three months later, that same Cocaine Bear was found – died of an overdose (70 kilograms) of cocaine (source: IFL Science).
Life is funnier than shit.
Cocaine Bear: A film as a symbol of our time
The film, which hits theaters in April, takes that template and of course revamps it, as the trailer above shows. The bear becomes turbocharged killer machine, which hunts down campers and hikers and shreds everything in its path. Sounds brutal, but if you believe the trailer, it also has many funny moments.
So the movie itself would be worth seeing if you like that kind of humor. But what makes him special to me is its resemblance to the world in 2023. Rarely have a film and a character fitted so well into the times. Let’s go through the list of analogies. Cocaine Bear is…
- planet earth roiled by the climate crisis
- Russian President Putin, fueled by fantasies of omnipotence
- the conspiracy theory-fueled outrage mob on Telegram
- the new Twitter boss Elon Musk, convinced of his own genius
- the angry citizen who feels unfairly treated
- the get-rich-quick crypto/NFT fanatic
- capitalism condemned to growth
- of ex-US President Trump, who ignored the election results and incited violence
- the corona virus that is paralyzing the world population
Cocaine Bear is all of that. Cocaine Bear is a picture of the anger that surrounds us every day. Someone writes something on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube, and you get upset. The neighbor drills too loudly, the driver in front of me drives too slowly, the new game I’ve been waiting for for months isn’t quite what I wanted it to be. Anger, anger, stress boil up. We or people around us are constantly agitated or outraged. It sometimes feels like a collective delirium.
So the character Cocaine Bear could hold a mirror up to us. Just as we will laugh at the crazy bear, maybe we should smile at ourselves. Do we have to get upset about everything? Or is there not so much that we could accept more calmly apart from the undoubtedly major, urgent problems of our time?
I now plan to just slow down and think of the Cocaine Bear whenever I get angry.
Because Cocaine Bear, we all are. But we don’t have to be.