Their crimes resemble high-octane Hollywood action movies: a sports car speeds through a Dubai shopping mall,
crashing into the windows of a Graff jewelry store. Masked, gun-wielding men jump out of the car and stuff fistfuls of diamonds into their satchels before screeching off. In London, they took all of three minutes to make off with $30 million in diamonds. Dubbed the Pink Panthers, they're captured - on surveillance tapes that record their astonishing lightning strikes with hypnotic accuracy. A 2010 New Yorker article by David Samuels described them as "a spectacularly inventive and elusive gang of jewel thieves... who've robbed 152 jewelry stores" in Europe, Asia and the Mid-East, of diamonds worth a quarter-billion dollars, since 2002. They're believed to be a loose confederation of 20-30 men (and women), many from Serbia and Montenegro, who "grew up in an atmosphere of wholesale corruption" after the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. Some are in jail. Others agree to be interviewed by Havana Marking so long as their identities are kept secret - which Marking handles cleverly by creating animated versions of the live action interviews. Today... they continue to smash and grab. (c) Film Forum
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