The cocaine trade of the 70s and 80s had an indelible impact on contemporary Miami. Smugglers and distributors forever changed a once sleepy retirement community into one of the world’s most glamorous hot spots, the epicenter of a $20 billion annual business fed by Colombia’s Medellin cartel. By the early 80s, Miami’s tripled homicide rate had made it the murder capital of the country, for which a Time cover story dubbed the city “Paradise Lost.” With Cocaine Cowboys, filmmaker Billy Corben – whose first feature Raw Deal: A Question Of Consent, caused a sensation at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival – paints a dazzling portrait of a cultural explosion that still echoes as Hollywood myth, evidenced by the latest manifestation, NBC/Universal’s Miami Vice, opening July 28th. Composer of the original “Miami Vice” theme, Jan Hammer, provides the score.
Director Billy Corben