Almirante, Panama


SO CLOSE TO THE SKY is an intimate portrayal of Ngäbe-Buglé families as they continue a 500-year-long battle for the possession and protection of their ancestral lands against proposals from the outside world - but now with different tools.

The film follows an ancient footpath that links the Caribbean and Pacific oceans through the wilderness of the Talamanca mountain range. The trail connects three Ngäbe-Buglé families who are at drastically different stages of modern awareness, journeying through what feels like 100 years to show the intersection of modern and traditional life in the jungle. The land is their sustenance, their culture, their medicine, their history and the single constant that ties together a diverse and evolving tribe.

This is not the story of a remote people clinging stubbornly to ancient traditions, but the story of a cultural evolution that will allow them to remain a united culture in a modern world. While they still choose to live without electricity, running water or roads, the Ngäbe utilize religious revival, the internet, political representation and protests that effectively stalled a nation to take back their rights from a corrupt system, even when international human rights protections fail them.

The following teaser is from our initial expedition in 2013. The film is currently in production. 

For more information about the documentary, visit the website -