The last I heard about Panama, Ruben Blades was making ads for his native land's tourism, and Noriega was, I supposed, rotting in a Florida jail.
This documentary elegantly introduces a new wrinkle into the stereotypes we may harbor -- namely, that American retirees and big-money developers are flocking to the paradise-like island of Bocas del Toro to buy land that has long been held by indigenous and other local people.
Just as when Columbus's followers "discovered" these lands and seized what they wanted, residential colonialism is thriving on the isthmus. This movie tries to show that many of the foreigners are following the rules and the law as they know them. Yet the locals are still being screwed. The film shows how these often dirt-poor people are trying to mount a fight that may ultimately be only a lost cause.
This is a tragic story of the haves vs. have-nots in a part of the world that still seems otherwise pure and pristine. I'm glad this film was made; hopefully, those in a position to make these purchases will think twice before indulging themselves.
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