Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja
DIRECTED BY BILLY CORBEN
USA, 2011, 100 MIN
Sponsored by Governor's Office of Film & Entertainment and Film Florida
Redneck pirates, a ganja-smoking church, and the longest-serving marijuana prisoner in American history are all part of this immensely entertaining portrait of South Florida’s prominent pot smuggling scene in the 1970s. Named after the bales of marijuana that were often caught in the warm Florida coastal waters by unsuspecting fishermen, SQUARE GROUPER focuses on three incredible stories from the era: the infamous Black Tuna Gang, a group of savvy smugglers; the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church, whose members (including children) all smoked marijuana religiously and ran a massive pot dealing operation out of Miami Beach’s exclusive Star Island; and Everglades City, a tiny fishing village 80 miles west of Miami with a brazenly outlaw history of smuggling endangered animals, rum, and weed. An eye-opening and hilarious crash course on an infamous yet eccentric blemish in Florida’s history, SQUARE GROUPER is the latest documentary from South Florida native Billy Corben (Raw Deal: A Question of Consent, FFF 2002, and ESPN’s The U).