Dollar Mambo (1993)

Dollar Mambo (1993) Poster

A dancer who works in the seedy Salón Panamá falls in love with a smuggler who is followed by a corrupt policeman, when on December 20, 1989, the US army invades Panamá and thousands of innocent people are killed. Based on true facts.


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4 June 2005 | cherold
| hard to stop watching
By turns fascinating and dull, this utterly bizarre anti-imperialist musical seems formless at first but turns out to be a pointed surrealist commentary on the U.S. invasion of Panama.

With no dialog besides a peculiar bookend scene of a ventriloquist, the movie alternates between dance numbers and silent vignettes of people going on about their lives. As the movie moves along there is an increasing sense of danger as the movie's politics come to the fore. This is all interesting but the vignettes are generally dull, although the dancing is pretty interesting. The high point of the film is the final extended dance sequence, a brief dramatic piece of dance that becomes increasingly ominous. This sequence is compelling but also rather upsetting, and is the main reason I wouldn't encourage my dance-crazy but squeamish girlfriend to watch it.

I didn't love this, but it is unique and worth taking a look at.

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Plot Summary


Release Date:

18 October 1995


Spanish, English

Country of Origin

Mexico, Spain, UK, France, Venezuela, Switzerland, Cuba, Panama

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