About the Film

El Cacao exposes the dark side of chocolate production in Latin America by examining the economics of Fair Trade from the point of view of the indigenous farmers as they attempt to sustain their community through the growth, harvest, and trade of cacao beans in the global market. This 20-minute documentary film highlights the life of an indigenous Ngäbe farmer in Panama and his unconditional devotion to this so-called “superfood.”  The film threads together the themes of neoliberal ideology, human rights, and the economics of the chocolate industry.  While the demand for chocolate in developed nations continues to raise, the farmers in developing countries, like Panama, are rarely awarded the economic incentive promised to them. 

The film utilizes cinema vérité techniques with candid interviews.  Most of the film hinges on intimate shots in personal working and living space within a small Ngäbe community in the Bocas del Toro region of Panama.