Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Manda Bala (2007) NR - 2½ Stars

From what it says at the beginning, this movie can not be shown in Brazil, for fear of the people involved will be assassinated. Manda Bala, meaning "Send a Bullet" is a documentary of the corruption of some politicians and the scandals involving them. It gives insight into the kidnappers themselves and why they do it, and the plastic surgeons that are hired to piece the pieces of the victims lives back together. Though I've seen the movie get extremely high ratings, it found it very hard to understand. It starts out with frog farms, I have to say a main reason I rented this one is for my love of frogs. These frog ranches are to cover up illegal business operations and have made some politicians very very rich.

But the movie jumps around a lot and left me wondering if the film was about the frog farms, San Paolo and the how most people flock from the poor areas of south Brazil, to the city just as they would rather have have crumbs in the city instead of bread in their villages. Doctors and some people are so afraid of being kidnapped, they have their cars rendered into bullet proof vehicles. Then it jumps to interviews of victims and plastic surgeons, with body guards, that fix them. Also there are many parts in Portuguese and no English subtitles so it's hard to know what some of the interviews and conversations were about. It did open my eyes to yet another problem of the world that we probably know little about.

You can read more about the film by going to their web site.

2007 - Manda Bala - Chicago International Documentary Film Festival - Discovering Eye Award 2007 - Manda Bala - Sundance Film Festival - Best Cinematography - Documentary
2007 - Manda Bala - Sundance Film Festival - Grand Jury Prize - Documentary

City Lights Pictures
Director: Jason Kohn
Producers: Jared Goldman, Joey Frank, Mario Kohn
I viewed 11/08

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