A disappointing entry in the school of anti-corporate documentaries.
Sloppy journalism and humdrum filmmaking make Anayansi Prado’s “Paraiso for Sale” a disappointing entry in the school of anti-corporate documentaries. Following the battle between locals in Panama’s Bocas del Toro archipelago and developers tapping the islands as the new “it” resort destination, pic does a poor job of laying out the matters at hand and instead opts for easy interview segments, personal portraits and lazy reporting. Also-ran status on docu fest circuit is assured, while most high-quality tube outlets will pass.
In the past decade, the Bocas islands have gone from a quiet backwater to a hot item for resort development corporations and foreigners (mostly Americans flush with retirement nest eggs) looking for a slice of paradise on the cheap. Prado’s low-grade vid camera tracks locals battling what they view as the islands’ destruction, including Feliciano Santos (a rep of the indigenous Ngobe people) and small-time entrepreneur Dario Vanhorne, running for mayor on an anti-development platform. With Six Diamond Resorts’ veep of operations Richard Kiibler standing in for the developers, the money guys come off as goons. Panamanian music icon Ruben Blades makes a pointless appearance.