Begins as a quirky portrait of a globe-trotting falconer and concludes with astonishing evidence indicating that Osama bin Laden currently resides in greater Tehran.

Beginning as a quirky portrait of a globe-trotting falconer and concluding with astonishing evidence indicating that Osama bin Laden currently resides in greater Tehran, Orn Marino Arnarson and Thorkell Hardarson’s latest doc, “Feathered Cocaine,” exposes the once-venerated and now corrupt culture of falconry in the Middle East through the cogent, opinionated perspective of falconer supreme, the ironically named Alan Parrot. Certain to trigger heated discussions (as it already has on its prestigious fest travels) wherever it plays, doc will be a natural for widespread theatrical and ancillary play.

Parrot details his upbringing with parents Jane and Hadley (hardly concealing their dim view of their son’s adventurous existence), his growing passion for falcons and how he managed to get inside Iranian Shah Reza Pahlavi’s inner sanctum as keeper of the royal-owned birds. Via Parrot’s remarkable network of Mideast trainers, traders and shysters, he determines that bin Laden’s whereabouts can be easily determined through his still-active falconry in the southern Iranian-Pakistani region. To date, Parrot has failed to convince U.S. government officials of this possibly crucial intelligence. Pic’s expert talking heads deeply impress.

Feathered Cocaine

Iceland

Production

A Markell Prods. presentation (International sales: Films Transit Intl., Montreal.) Produced by Orn Marino Arnarson, Thorkell Hardarson. Executive producer, Diane Holtzberg. Co-producers, Felix Bluhm, Arne Ludwig, Christoph Bauer. Directed by Orn Marino Arnarson, Thorkell Hardarson.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Halldor Gunnarsson; editors, Arnarson, Hardarson, Jeremy Stulberg; music, Steingrimur Eyfjord Gudmundsson. Reviewed at Palm Springs Film Festival, Jan. 12, 2011. (Also in Tribeca, Hot Docs film festivals.) Running time: 81 MIN.

With

Alan Parrot, Jane Parrot, Hadley Parrot, Abelkak Tarliabev, , Peter Lindbergh, Robert Baer, Paul Vallely, Rachel Ehrenfeld, Steve Coll, Babi Ji, John Loftus, Sergei Rufim Imamovitch, Kenneth Timmerman, Ronald Jean-Marie, T2, Darren Foreman. (English, Russian dialogue)
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