Documentary Film-making as Tabloid Journalism
Cocaine Cowboys is narrowly focused on how Miami became the drug
capital and the most dangerous city in the United States during the
late 1970s and the early 1980s. The film is lasciviously fascinated
with the lavish lifestyle and the grotesque violence generated by the
drug trade. Many obviously find such material quite fascinating.
There's no denying that several anecdotes shared by dealers, smugglers,
cops and veteran reporter Edna Buchanan are very amusing. Fans of TV's
Miami Vice and Brian de Palma's Scarface are advised to rush to a
theatre playing this film. They'll find that the real-life models of
the fictional villains are even more flamboyant and vicious (the life
of Griselda "the godmother" Blanco could be turned into a nifty fiction
film). CocaineCowboys combines talking-head interviews with old TV
footage in rat-tat-tat editing style. Shots of piles of cash and large
stashes of cocaine are used as would-be punctuation marks; and there
are more snapshots of bloody, perforated bodies than you've ever seen
in your life.
Cocaine Cowboys is documentary film-making as tabloid journalism. Its
cheap thrills provide a measure of entertainment but its reportage is
devoid of context and thoughtful commentary. Director Billy Corben is a
native, but as one born in 1979 his view of the material is decidedly
second-hand. Towards the latter stages, Cocaine Cowboys strains to
present Miami as "the city that cocaine built" by hyperbolically
describing late-70s Miami as a "sleepy hamlet". There is some truth to
the argument but it is a self-serving and simplistic one. Moreover, the
content as presented here is likely to perpetuate certain ethnic
stereotypes about the Colombian community and Cuban "marielitos"
(Cubans who arrived when Castro allowed migration to the US through the
port of Mariel in 1980)..
Josey Wales watch The Tide Of Life movie
explicit documentary about the real Miami vice! cocain and what goes on behind the scenes in this multi billion dollar industry!.
fahre watch Synecdoche, New York movie
I love the's Film!.
karas0104 watch God Told Me To movie
great crime documentary ever .
wozza watch Revelation movie
good as what a life stile .
jtellezmtz watch Bananas!* movie
un gran documental. muy recomendable..
Great movie very true to real events liked it alot.
Want to see the life of the godmother .
The movie gives a grimy view of cocaine trafficking..
love it, and the quality makes you feel like your in the movie.
Awesome documental .
This really sums it up
This was a spectacular depiction of the life and times of Miami in it's
criminal hay day. I witnessed the carnage first hand as a member of
federal law enforcement and this documentary hits the nail squarely on
the head. What made this really enjoyable for me is the way the
director conveys the story. It is flashy and all over the place... just
like Miami at that time. This was one of the few documentaries that
told the stories of both sides of the struggle. The makers of this film
were also able to do something very difficult. They assembled
interviews from both sides of the fight. Anyone that is or was in my
line of work knows how difficult it is to pull that off. Most
documentaries are steeped in biased rhetoric and never give the viewer
the chance to form an opinion based on all the facts. For those of us
who remember those days and can be honest with ourselves and others
about the gravity of that situation, it stirs up a long stored emotion.
I can understand why people may find this documentary offensive or
cheap, politically correct agendas have a way of skewing reason. That
mentality is probably why this behavior has gone on so long. I wish I
could take some of the misinformed back in time to see the reality of
those times. It makes the nonsense of today look like Disney World.
This documentary was an excellent depiction of the times..