It’s been 20 years since Irvine Welsh’s Transporting, a seminal work of heroin fiction, hit the Big Screen. The movie is now celebrated as an era-defining cult hit. It launched Danny Boyle’s prestigious directing career, renewed interest in Iggy Pop and helped launch a spate of other realistic movies about drugs. Funny, dark and extremely quotable, the film raised the bar for portrayals of addiction in cinema by both humanizing its protagonists and realistically portraying their struggles.
The surrealist elements of Boyle’s screen adaptation featured sequences like protagonist Mark Renton diving into open waters through a toilet (below) to retrieve opium suppositories and screaming in terror at hallucinations of the dead baby Dawn.
These sequences heavily influenced future cinema and have become iconic. While some have accused the film of glamorizing heroin, most people see it for what it is: an honest, heartfelt and artistically credible take on a hard subject.