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Drug Smugglers: The Horrors and the Highs

USA 2012
produced by
Mark Miller
directed by Ama MacDonald
starring Allan Weisbecker, Patrick Abrams
written by Ama MacDonald, music by Cody Grimm

documentary

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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.

But their 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.

Eventually, 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" ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
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starring
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out now on DVD