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Back in the 1950's, Allan Weisbecker and Patrick Abrams, two men with
totally different backgrounds, first met and based their friendship on the
one passion they shared: Surfing. Basically, both men saw no other meaning
in life than a neverending quest for the perfect wave. Growing up, they
never forgot their passion, and ironically, the Vietnam War (Patrick
served and became a Captain) and a cartrip through Europe and to Morocco
gave them the inspiration to easily finance their hobby and see the world
at the same time: smuggling marijuana on a big scale. Pretty much through
the 1970's, they were bigshots of the business, and rarely ever ran the
risk of getting caught, mainly due to CIA-ties and the like.
enterprise ended with the emergence of the cocaine trade and the violence
that accompanied it. It came to a point where they had to either kill
somebody or walk away - fortunately, they walked away.
Patrick and Allan
knew their criminal past would eventually come back to haunt them, so to
keep one from betraying the other, they seperated completely, agreed to
each hide in his corner of the world and not tell the other where one is.
Allan took his experience in the drug trade and became a writer, writing
for numerous magazines and, most importantly, the TV show Miami
Vice. It wasn't until circa 20 years later that he wondered
what has become of his best friend, so he sold his house, bought a camper
van, and travelled Mexico and Costa Rica for quite some time in search of
him, turning his experience into the book In Search for Captain Zero.
Allan found Patrick in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, and was shocked what he
had to see: Patrick was by now living in a tent, was addicted to crack,
and worst of all, he had sold his surf board.
Interestingly though, the
success of In Search for Captain Zero helped in turning Patrick's
life around, even if their encounter back then broke something in their
friendship. The film ends with filmmaker Ama MacDonald reuniting them
again for one more surf ...
A nice little documentary that
challenges your stereotypes in a pleasently unspectacular manner. This is
a film that doesn't do its best to reaffirm your preconceptions about drug
smugglers by portraying them as sleazy hotheads with a predilection for
guns, instead just two surfer dudes who just wanted to enjoy life to the
fullest (and keep surfing for the rest of their lives), and a certain
touch of (maybe misguided) ingenuity got them into drugrunning. And the
film's laid back feel only reflects its attitude, also towards taking a
very unjudgemental look at those guys and their actions and not going for
spectacle but actually telling the story at hand.
To sum it up,
"everything you always wanted to know about drug smuggling but have
never been told" ...