Angels & Dust
Panama, 2014, 78 minutes, SD
A contemporary odyssey in an unrevealed Panama
Angels & Dust Synopsis

A mesmerising, hallucinogenic journey through the gangs and drug culture of modern Panama.


When music producer, Paco and his wife, Kene, are arrested at the airport with plates of cocaine strapped to their bodies, his brother, Mauricio, is dragged into a dangerous underworld. Desperate to do something, Mauricio leaves his home in Barcelona behind and - with the help of illegal taxi driver, Fat - settles into a new life in Panama.


As the wheels of bureaucracy slowly turn, Mauricio tries to secure protection in prison for Paco and Kene and win custody of their two year old daughter, seized at the airport by social services. Paco soon comes under the wing of violent killer, Matón, and even starts producing music from prison.


But life on the streets is even more dangerous. Every day, more and more people are killed in wars between rival gangs. Journalists like William Sala spend their days going from one crime scene to another. Guided by Fat’s friends, former gang members Julito and Lolo, Mauricio witnesses first-hand the realities of ghetto life.

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Reviewed by edwinjamescalin
This documentary film that takes us on a journey to Panama and through the backstreets, prisons and ghettos is an eye-opener but also a wake up call for governments and... more
This documentary film that takes us on a journey to Panama and through the backstreets, prisons and ghettos is an eye-opener but also a wake up call for governments and nations everywhere. The scourge of cocaine, drugs and crimes reveals the decay of a society that, when left unattended, may lead to man's total destruction. These are consequences made possible all because of men's utter approval and for allowing gruesome vices to multiply and overpower them.  Mauricio's quest to do something for his brother and wife takes him to the innermost belly of the not so known side of Panama, and his efforts are admirable. I find the scene where he was carrying the two year old daughter of his brother and taking her to safety an emotional one,  viewers can evidently see the emotions in Mauricio's face, try as hard as he might to control them. It's very heartbreaking to see that a child, with not the right knowledge of things still, could experience separation from parents all because of negative actions and choices.  The violence and drugs in this film will shock viewers that's for sure, it will totally give you a jolt! 
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Reviewed by nikkareyes
Shocking and gruesome! The documentary confronts the true situations that exist in Panama, all thanks to widespread cocaine consumption of people especially in the lower rungs. The never-ending violence seems... more
Shocking and gruesome! The documentary confronts the true situations that exist in Panama, all thanks to widespread cocaine consumption of people especially in the lower rungs. The never-ending violence seems to be quite commonplace but one thing is clear: nothing good ever comes out because of this widespread use of drugs and cocaine, even the kids seem to have wild and unruly behavior and chances are, these kids of cocaine users  could be consuming the substance already at an early age.  While  the film follows mostly Mauricio as he goes on a quest to do his share to do something about his brother's imprisonment in Panama, it undoubtedly also mirrors the ills and problems of the country which sadly also afflicts a lot of countries. 
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Reviewed by quincyjoyce
A dizzying, almost unbelievable documentary set amidst the bedlam of Panama's streets, gang culture and debilitating problems with drugs. As cocaine ruins the country, Mauricio arrives in Panama in order... more
A dizzying, almost unbelievable documentary set amidst the bedlam of Panama's streets, gang culture and debilitating problems with drugs. As cocaine ruins the country, Mauricio arrives in Panama in order to help his brother and sister-in-law; Paco and Kene respectively. Imprisoned due to smuggling, the desperation all three characters face is manifested in different ways throughout Hector Herrera's documentary. Panama City is made to appear no different from the prisons itself as Mauricio finds himself at the mercy of the cities underworld. Tense, informative and somewhat frightening, Angels and Dust is a documentary for those who are curious about the lesser reported on parts of the world.
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