The following was written by Students For Liberty Blog Team member, Anne Butcher

If you’ve spent enough time in libertarian social circles, you’ve probably heard someone mention how we need more libertarians in show business. The progressives run Hollywood and it’s absolutely ruining us! Well, it’s unclear whether or not Rick Fumuyiwa and the good people over at Open Road Films identify as libertarian, but they’re certainly pushing the industry in a slightly more libertarian direction.

Fumuyiwa’s movie Dope, a breakout hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, became the first movie to sell tickets for Bitcoin last month. Now, Movietickets.com offers Bitcoin as a payment option at over 900 U.S. theaters for ALL movies showing at those theaters. It’s hard to find exact numbers on how much Bitcoin revenue Dope brought in, but the distributing company Open Road Films has admitted that the decision was more about getting buzz than actual Bitcoins.

After hearing said buzz, I couldn’t help but think “OK that’s great, but is Dope actually a libertarian movie?” After seeing it today, I was impressed, both as a libertarian and as a person who likes movies. Dope tells the story of Malcolm, a geek growing up in a low-income neighborhood of Los Angeles as well as his geeky friends, Jib and Diggy. Through a series of “wrong place, wrong time” occurrences, they end up selling illegal drugs online for Bitcoin. In a society that almost always characterizes drug dealers as dirty rotten scoundrels, the movie illustrates how good people might end up dealing given certain motives.

Dope also provokes thought and discussion about racism in the U.S. By focusing on the challenges of being a geek surrounded by gang members and drug dealers, the entire movie aims to bitcoin2-300x201dismantle racial stereotypes. Part of the plot is Malcolm trying to get into Harvard, and the film discusses how a person of color from a rough part of town might be treated differently in the admissions process. It’s easy for more privileged people to say “well, people in poor neighborhoods just need to get an education and better their lives.” Well, Dope really makes an audience think that might be easier said than done.

While drug policy and racism may be the primary issues tackled in Dope, there are more subtle nods towards libertarianism, including a brief discussion of U.S. drone policy and a negative portrayal of the public school system. While the movie doesn’t explicitly propose libertarian solutions to the problems it addresses, this also keeps it from being overly preachy, helping it resonate with many outside our movement. If you’ve ever ranted to your friends about how we need more libertarian representation in mass media, Dope is the kind of movie I think you should consider supporting with the currency of your choice.