Feathered Cocaine

| 80 min | 2010
International Feature film

CT: Sun 12 5.30 PD | Fri 17 8.45 | Tues 21 6.30
Jozi: NuM Tues 14 8.30 PD | Bio Thurs 23 8

Nothing is quite as it seems in this provocative foray into the murky world of raptor smuggling, Middle Eastern politics and one seriously unconventional bird nut. The film follows longtime falconer and bird expert Alan Parrot (a fiercely passionate Sikh) as he uncovers first the history, then the abuse of falconry. The biographical homage to the irrepressible Parrot, who was one of the first to export birds of prey from the region and now regrets it, is followed by his attempts to drum up support for better regulations and finally, a delighfully bizarre segue into why such regulations will never happen. In a nutshell Parrot’s hypothesis is that falconry is at the heart of Middle Eastern business practices—the proverbial golf course—and that outlawing the hunt and trade would be tantamount to outlawing stock exchanges. The film then follows an intriguing trail of high-powered ‘knowns’ as they illustrate his point; most sensationally a smuggler who claims Bin Laden is in Iran running falcon camps. An unorthodox, eccentric documentary, entertaining and compelling in equal parts and fully deserving of its Official Selection status at the Tribeca, Big Sky and Palm Springs film festivals in 2010.

Courtesy of FilmsTransit International and the Directors

There will be a Panel Discussion after certain screenings in Johannesburg and Cape Town.