Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers | Chicago Reader

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93 minutes · 2013

The international network of diamond thieves explored by this British documentary calls to mind the shadowy organizations of Fritz Lang thrillers. "The Pink Panthers," a European group responsible for jewelry store robberies all over the world, lack any clear organizational structure and regularly assume false identities. Most of them have been apprehended after decades of evading arrest. Two of those still at large provide commentary here, and to protect their anonymity, director Havana Marking presents them in the form of animated characters—a clever but flashy idea that's characteristic of her general approach. This is entertaining as true-crime storytelling, though somewhat shallow when it gets into heavier subject matter, like ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia or present-day atrocities in diamond-rich African countries.

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