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The Panama Deception
The Panama Deception
Actors: Elizabeth Montgomery, Abraham Alvarez, Carlos Cant�º, Diviana Ingravallo, Alma Mart�­nez
Genres: Educational, Documentary, Military & War
NR     2007     1hr 31min

A riveting Academy Award-winning documentary, made all the more timely by recent U.S. invasions and the current war on terror, THE PANAMA DECEPTION documents the untold story of the December 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama,...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Elizabeth Montgomery, Abraham Alvarez, Carlos Cant�º, Diviana Ingravallo, Alma Mart�­nez
Genres: Educational, Documentary, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Educational, History, History, Military & War, Politics, Military & War
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/25/2007
Original Release Date: 07/31/1992
Theatrical Release Date: 07/31/1992
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 31min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Only for those ones seeking truth
O. M. Suarez | Mayagüez, Puerto Rico | 06/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A courageous look to yet another US invasion of a Latin American country: like Nicargua in the 20's, Dominican Republic in the 60's, and dozens more. The film clearly reflects the reality of a country led by Manuel Noriega, proud graduate of the US School of the Americas, in Ft. Benning, Ga, alma mater of dictators, torturers, murderers wearing uniforms from all over Latin America. In addition, the film uncovers the permanent collusion between the US mainstream media and the political and economic establishment. How come the decimation of Panamanian slums was not on the front pages of The Washington Post, The NY Times, etc.? You will certainly get a hint through this movie. If an invasion of a sovereign country is not outrageous enough, the massacre of countless dispossessed civilians at the hands of a brutal intervention force, certainly is. Get ready to get a shot of reality finely exposed."
Overly strident, but partially accurate nonetheless
Traveler | New England | 03/31/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It's unfortunate that this film was so over zealous to make its point, but it is equally unfortunate to see those who would deny what is clearly factual.Just hours before I read the reviews here I happened to be reading "You Back the Attack! We'll Bomb Who We Want" by Micah Ian Wright who served in the US Army Rangers and participated in the invasion of Panama. Wright states quite clearly what many try to deny. He stood on the roof of a building overlooking a civilian neighborhood that had been bombed by the US and had burned for two days unchecked. And Wright is not the only military witness to confirm that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of civilians were killed by US weapons. Just because the producers of Panama Deception failed to interview these soldiers does not mean they don't exist.It is also equally harmful to make the debate about this film about Bush or the Republican Party. The issue at hand is post Vietnam War foreign policies which clearly ignore moral principles for unknown ulterior motives. These policies have been carried out by Democrats and Republicans alike. Clinton, for example, had his own fiasco with his support of the sanctions against Iraqi civilians which ultimately strengthened Saddam Hussein's domestic power.I make these observations as a former US Army Intelligence Analyst who saw the lies under Bush I. But the same lies could have been stated under Clinton. It doesn't matter. The issue is not so simplistic that films like Panama Deception are "anti-military" or even "anti-American." As Teddy Roosevelt said at one time, "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President . . . or that we must stand by the President right or wrong . . . is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."Ultimately, that's what this is all about - that we send our troops into harms way and they, as soldiers in combat, invariably end up killing innocents in accomplishing their mission. This is a fact of life. To criticize those who would send them into combat is not an attack on the soldiers, but on the leaders who would abuse them and then refuse to acknowledge what they've done.When it comes to Panama, I'm not aware of any American leader ever admitting what happened. Furthermore, it is false to say that other nations did not protest. The UN General Assembly did in fact condemn the attack. But the US is the world's superpower and the condemnation ultimately resulted in nothing. This has been the case for well more than a decade, most notably in regards to Iraq.And just like in so many other military actions, the media, as shown in the video, did indeed play an integral role in creating the perception that US soldiers did not kill civilians and/or that our motives were entirely pure. They used terms like "our attack" or "we captured Noriega" as if all of us were in on the plan from the very beginning. There was no effort made to even create the image that the media were somehow separate from the invasion.Which brings me to my last observation about this film and its critics. It is often the mistake of those who disbelieve those who challenge US foreign policy to say that these individuals must therefore support the opposing side. Against the invasion? Then you must support Noriega. Against Gulf War II? Then you must support Saddam Hussein. This is childish thinking. It's not about the goal, it's about HOW the goal is acheived. Only a fool would support either of those dictators. What most critics have a problem with is the method by which these men were removed from power - a method that, as the film shows, kills innocents and at least creates the image in the minds of those living outside the US that we have ulterior motives.Given these random thoughts, some portions of "Panama Deception" have stood the test of time while others fall flat. Watch it and see for yourself. If you can get beyond the strident tone, perhaps this will be the seed that will help you see that not all the military actions of the United States are something we should be proud of."
A worthwhile documentary
Traveler | 03/06/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Manuel Noriega is no hero, and this film does not in any way try to apologize for him. It is, however, a well documented indictment of U.S. foreign policy in the region leading up to the 1989 invasion. As I was stationed in Panama during the time of the invasion and several months afterward, I can vouch that the allegations made in this film of which I have personal knowledge are accurate. By all means, you owe it to yourself to see this and then make up your own mind."
The Truth finally comes out...
Howard Clark Jr. | Clovis, CA, USA | 09/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first saw this film in an ethics college class - I never forgot it - as a former member of the US Armed Forces, I am ashamed of the USA. We went into Panama with the 'idea' of capturing a villain, but instead, we obliterated a city, killing thousands of civilians. This film takes you through the history of the involvement of the USA in Panama, from Theodore Roosevelt to George Bush. I recommend this film to all interested in political meddling and warfare. Spread the word."