The Wind and the Water

Director: Vero Bollow
Screenwriters: Vero Bollow

Institute History

  • 2008 Sundance Film Festival


A tender, yet powerful, coming-of-age story, The Wind and the Water is a rare feature from Panama that offers an unprecedented glimpse into the way that identity, youth agency, and cultural transition play out in a native pueblo on the edge.

Machi and Rosy are two native Kuna Yala babies born at the same time but under very different circumstances. Machi grows up in Kuna Yala territory speaking the native tongue and learning the traditional ways of his fishing village. Rosy grows up in Panama City speaking Spanish, wearing matching pink outfits, and sporting dreams of becoming a fashion model. By the time Machi and Rosy are 15, a big development company has the Kuna Yala territories in its crosshairs. The company puts powerful machinations in motion against the community to displace the Indigenous population and build resort hotels on their pristine shores. What the company doesn’t know is that the wind blowing through two very special coconut trees creates a powerful force in Machi and Rosy that may prove very difficult for the company to defeat.

There is a bold uniqueness to Vero Bollow and the Igar Yala Collective's filmmaking style, marked by musical rhythms and an energetic fluidity. Precise and simple, The Wind and the Water is an inspirational accomplishment of intergenerational storytelling that radiates rays of warmth, sweetness, and hope.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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