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...

RUNNING STUMBLED

Director John Maringouin's Faustian confrontation with the estranged father, who once tried to kill him, was dubbed “one of the ultimate anti-drug films” when it appeared at the Rotterdam ... 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 Venditti ... More »

LION IN THE HOUSE, A

“The old adage that no great movie is too long applies in spades to A Lion in the House, an astonishing four-hour documentary that takes on a very difficult subject - children with cancer - and ... 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 performances ... More »

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 »

TREASURES OF LONG GONE JOHN, THE

A self-described anti-mogul of the music industry, indie record producer, Long Gone John has single-handedly released over 750 records in the past 17 years through his label, Sympathy for the Record ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director