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This documentary details the case that the 1989 invasion of Panama by the US was motivated not by the need to protect American soldiers, restore democracy or even capture Noriega. It was to force Panama to submit the will of the United States after Noriega had exhausted his usefulness. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Good information, presented in a somewhat slipshod manner
I tend to forget that we even invaded Panama (such is my luxury as an American), so this film was interesting not only for reminding me, but for also showing how horrifically ridiculous and overkill (literally) the whole thing was, and worse, how unjustified. The narrator describes Panama as practice for the first Gulf War, but the parallels are obviously very strong with the Gulf War that occurred after this film was made, complete with a clueless, kneejerk-patriotic media that didn't even have the lame 9/11 excuse for failing to see through government rhetoric. It is made clear that the government's control of what media sees was actually a new thing since Vietnam, but of course, they fail to complain about it directly to us when they are denied access (as they were during the initial bombardment).
The story is largely told through footage of the aftermath (disturbing, to say the least) and a certain amount of talking heads. Most of the "experts" seem fairly level-headed, although I think they would've improved their credibility by not including one particularly ridiculous claim. The composition of the film itself does leave something to be desired; the director uses the cheesiest freeze-frame and wipe effects, puts a lame "TV frame" around US media footage, and dubs rather than subtitles most of the Spanish speech. This film, then, is basically good because of what it tells us and the fact that it makes us look at what happened, giving us less room to brush it off. If, say, you already knew everything about the Panama invasion, the film would hold little value for you.
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