Skip to main content

COCAINE COWBOYS

USA, 2006 (MIFF 2006, Documentaries)

Director: Billy Corben

COCAINE COWBOYS

Remember Al Pacino's Tony Montana in Brian De Palma's Scarface?

Miami, once a modest, coastal, melting-pot city, was transformed almost overnight into a glitzy metropolis when it became the main point of entry for cocaine into the USA.

Chronicling the drug influx of the 70s and 80s - and the resulting gang wars and violence - Cocaine Cowboys is an eye-opening profile of the Miami underworld.

Featuring candid interviews with key figures on both sides of the law, Cocaine Cowboys is a picture of a city over-run by drugs and warring gangs. Taking centre stage are ex-drug dealers/smugglers Jon Roberts and Mickey Munday, who lay out the structure behind the production, import and sale of cocaine, as well as providing their own reminiscences on the excessive heyday of Miami's vice.

When the drug business boomed - Miami banks almost ran out of space to store cash deposits - violence inevitably followed. An inside perspective is provided by Jorge ‘Rivi' Alaya, a convicted former hitman for Griselda Blanco, the notoriously bloodthirsty Colombian ‘godmother'.

D/P Billy Corben P Alfred Spellman WS Rakontur
TD video/2006/118mins

Billy Corben was born in Miami, USA in 1980. His films include Raw Deal: A Question of Consent (2001, doco).

See also...

WAR TAPES, THE

Rejecting an offer to be embedded as a filmmaker in Iraq, Deborah Scranton instead equipped US soldiers with cameras and let them shoot their Iraq tour of duty. The result is The War Tapes. Edited ... More »

SEVEN EASY PIECES BY MARINA ABRAMOVIC

In 2005 at New York's famed Guggenheim Museum, Marina Abramovic performed for seven hours per night over the course of a week. From an art event to a social phenomenon, Abramovic's seven ... More »

DARKON

Darkon was the winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary, SXSW. ... Each weekend, on the sweeping soccer fields of Baltimore, they gather. An epic war is taking place and at stake are the ... More »

LAKE OF FIRE

“Balances a full spectrum of views from all sides of the abortion debate without obviously taking a position itself.” - Variety Fifteen years in the making, this epic documentary by American ... More »

BILLY THE KID

Jury Prize winner at the recent SXSW Film Festival, Billy the Kid is unquestionably one of the year's highlights of documentary filmmaking, destined to be a classic. Debut filmmaker Jennifer ... More »

STRANGE CULTURE

Having his wife die of a heart attack was only the start of a very bad night for Steve Kurtz. His 911 call to report the death triggered events that would drag him into a Kafkaesque nightmare. After ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director