Audacious research and fierce editing are the standouts in this documentary that chronicles the roots, heyday, and consequences bad and good of the cocaine trade in Miami.
The city was relatively quiet in the early 1950s, but, in succession, gun-running, rum running, marijuana trafficking, and Cuban immigration led to the cocaine-trade explosion in the 70s. Among the significant notes is that Pittsburgh Steelers players were doing coke in the days leading to their Super Bowl game against the Dallas Cowboys in Miami in 1976. The Steelers, of course, won the game.
Cocaine Cowboys doesnt just give an overview, but focuses on individuals and their fates. Its conclusion seems inarguable: The skyline of Miami today owes more than a little to cocaine.
Cocaine Cowboys screens at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Muvicos Peabody Place theatre. For more information on the festival, see the Indie Memphis Web site.