High Times

Whether chronicling the total badassness of the Miami Hurricanes’ football dominance during the ’80s in The U or exploring the highs (ahem) and lows of our city’s dubious marriage with cocaine trafficking in Cocaine Cowboys, filmmaker Billy Corben knows how to mine the depths of the Magic City’s rich and dark past. In his latest doc, Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja, Corben’s time machine takes us back to the ’70s, the peak of South Florida’s pot-smuggling culture. Square Grouper (named for the ganja bales thrown from boats or planes into the Atlantic) delves into three stories of weed smuggling, dealing, and, well, smoking. Impressive archival footage and firsthand accounts drive each narrative: One centers on Everglades City, the small fishing village with a long, unabashed history of smuggling marijuana. Another peers deep into the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church, the ganja-smoking congregation that dealt pot out of Star Island. And the third presents the notorious Black Tuna Gang, led by Robert Platshorn. Square Grouper screens at O Cinema this Thursday at 8 p.m., with other showtimes through Sunday.
April 14-17, 8 p.m., 2011

 
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