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Interview with Thorkell S. Hardarson and Orn Marino Arnarson

Liza Béar

7:34

"Tribeca Film Festival, New York, May 2, 2010—In this interview, Icelandic producer/directors Thorkell S. Hardarson and Orn Marino Arnarson discuss how their film, Feathered Cocaine, originally intended to be a history of falconry, entered a world of intrigue and geopolitics once they made contact with Alan Howell Parrot, a falcon trainer since the age of eighteen. Parrot, who became the protagonist of Feathered Cocaine, is one of the worlds leading falcon trainers with strong connections in the Middle East, where he formerly trained hunting falcons for the Persian Gulf power elite, including the King of Saudi Arabia, the President of the United Arab Emirates, and the Shah of Iran. After witnessing relentless falcon smuggling in the wake of the USSR's collapse, he left the Middle East and formed a global nature conservation group with like-minded people to protect the falcons.

Through his connections, Parrot learned of the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden, who is an obsessed falconer. He has tried to relay this information to the Bush administration since 2005 (and to the Obama Administration since he took office in 2009), yet has met silence or obstruction. The FBI, CIA, NSA, OCO, and Rewards For Justice program have all chosen not to reach out to the one man who says he has gone falcon hunting with Osama Bin Laden six times since 2004. Feathered Cocaine's intriguing cocktail of geopolitics, terrorism, petrodollars, and nature conservation sheds light on how business is conducted in the global merry-go-round of money and politics.

After its world premiere at the 9th Tribeca Film Festival, Feathered Cocaine is playing at Hot Docs, Toronto, on May 4 and May 6."