Hidden History: The 1989 US Invasion of Panama

We should not forget that these things happened!

The Most Revolutionary Act

Invasion

(Spanish with English subtitles)

Directed by Abner Benaim (2014)

Film Review

This is a Panamanian documentary about the 1989 US invasion of Panama killing an estimated 1,000 civilians.

In addition to reenacting aspects of the invasion, the filmmakers interview a range of people affected by it, including residents of low income areas of Panama City shelled and firebombed by US forces, Noriega aids who arranged for him to seek sanctuary in the Vatican embassy, a former staff person from the embassy, and wealthy Panamanians who supported the invasion.

The most moving accounts are those of civilians whose family members were killed or seriously injured in the US assault. Most US and Panamanian young people have little knowledge of the invasion because it isn’t taught in school. Low income Panamanians over 40 supported Noriega’s nationalist ambitions and opposed the US invasion. Wealthier residents accepted the US pretext of ridding the…

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