Pros: Hard-hitting powerful crime stories
Cons: May be too brutal and gory for some
According to the documentary Cocaine Cowboys, many of Miami's skyscrapers and its 1980s real estate boom and sky rocketing luxury car business was as a result of all the money that poured into Miami in the late 70s and 80s because of the illegal drug trafficking. A lot of people not directly involved with drugs made huge profits because of it as well. It was, for a while, very good for some businesses.
Cocaine Cowboys is the 2006 documentary by Billy Corben produced by Alfred Spellman and Billy Corben through their Miami-based media studio rakontur. It documents the rise of the illegal cocaine trade in Miami, Florida throughout the 1970s and 80s.
The story is told through Interviews with police officers, lawyers, journalists, former drug smugglers, Columbian gang members and convicted killers. Everyone talks frankly and paints a perspective of the Miami drug wars that we didn't see on T.V.'s Miami Vice or in the movies.
Things get tougher, more brutal and nastier as it progresses from parties to drug smuggling to murders and revenge killings that became more and more frequent and involved innocent children. One of the most brutal characters involved in the illegal trade was a middle aged Colombian woman named Griselda Blanco, nicknamed La Madrina or God Mother. She supposedly ordered the murders (hits) of hundreds of people and didn't think twice about killing innocent people to get at the people she wanted to get to.
A lot of people were killed before law enforcement begins to win the battle and the murders and violence decrease and one of the major suppliers is tracked down. Arrests are made and this particular drug war ends.
There isn't enough follow up regarding some of the people who have been telling us the story. It covers a very specific time period from the late 70s until the mid-80s and then shows the 2006 Miami sky-line with some comments that most of it was built with all the money that became available during the 70s and 80s.
Cocaine Cowboys is a fast moving, brutal true crime documentary that focuses on the visceral. Interviews are frank and hard-hitting and we see bloody crime scenes and very disturbing photographs that are not for the faint of heart. You'll probably find yourself being fascinated, perhaps horrified by this film.