THE PANAMA DECEPTION | EW.com

Movies

The Panama Deception THE PANAMA DECEPTION (1992, Rhino, $79.95) There's little doubt that our received truths about the 1989 invasion of Panama are alarmingly far from the...The Panama DeceptionDocumentaryUnrated THE PANAMA DECEPTION (1992, Rhino, $79.95) There's little doubt that our received truths about the 1989 invasion of Panama are alarmingly far from the...1993-06-18

The Panama Deception

Genre: Documentary; MPAA Rating: Unrated

THE PANAMA DECEPTION (1992, Rhino, $79.95) There’s little doubt that our received truths about the 1989 invasion of Panama are alarmingly far from the actual truth, and the winner of the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature of 1992 deserves credit for tackling a subject that has been grossly underreported-and misreported-by the mainstream media. The film piles on the evidence of U.S. aggression and mendacity, much of it convincing as well as horrifying. But it also overstates its case, interviewing only the human-rights representative with the highest estimate of civilian casualties and at one point credulously quoting an expert who likens the Pentagon’s press restrictions to Stalin’s Russia. Ultimately, setting the record straight will require a more nuanced treatment than The Panama Deception’s advocacy journalism disguised as objective reporting. B - Susan Chumsky