Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Bus 174

2002 by Jose Padilha & Felipe Lacerda - Documentary in Portugeese

There are so many new diplomatic associations between Brazil and India, like BRIC. In fact, these are two countries which have a lot of similarities. And the most sad similarity is the indifference to the poor.

On 12 June, 2000, a young guy armed with a pistol held a bus and its passengers, about a dozen, hostage for about 4 hours in a rich region of Rio de Janeiro. Within few minutes the whole media was around and the whole drama was telecast live in Brazil. It ended up in the death of one girl and the guy. 

Since TV cameras were omni present, there is no dearth of footage here and it is almost like the whole drama is happening right in front of us. But more than that this movie takes us to many other important aspects. Poverty in Brazil, the life of street children, how they become criminals, how the police treat them making them even worse criminals and the utter incompetency of Police themselves.

The young man here, Sandro was witness to his mother being killed and soon ended up in the streets. He was arrested and send to the correction system, but the way the correction worked the poor kids would only turn up as better criminals. Sandro some how wanted to get a job and change his life. Imagine a man taking hostages, asking for just 300 dollars and a grenade. Here is a guy who didnt know what he was doing at all and he proved many times he was unable to kill anybody. He let most passengers walk out and had asked those inside to pretend as if he was really bad and was going to kill them. After many hours, without anything happening this guy walks out with one of the passenger and if not for the stupidity of the police, a girl would not have lost her life, nor will have Sandro's. It is striking that some of the hostages even felt for Sandro and was sure he was never able to kill anybody.

But what makes this documentary extremely brilliant is that, it gives us excellent reasons why there would be more criminals like Sandro in Brazil. It tells us that Sandro was witness to the infamous Candelaria child massacre, when a group of police man just decided to shoot and kill a large group of street children and nothing happened. In fact many rich in Brazil was supporting the act and said that is exactly the way to deal with street children. The documentary talks to many street children, some who are really into criminal activities now, psychologists and social workers and we really understand how an indifferent system can make criminals out of its poor people. Still, the docu never tries to make a saint out of Sandro. His crime is there for us to see. But it just takes us to the root cause of how Sandro's are made in Brazil.

It is difficult to complete this movie, without feeling for the poor and being terrified by the treatment meted out to them by the system. It is unbelievable that we feel for the hostages and the gunman alike and we feel for the  many possible gunmen's of future.

I can only say the situation is exactly similar in India. We do not care for our poor and we do everything for the rich.

We have thousands of innocents in our jails, both sentenced and awaiting trials, but there doesn't seem to be anybody who care for them. I cant recall even reading about such a documentary from India.

A Psychologist says, in the docu, these children, all they want is visibility. Because for the system and for general public, they dont exist and they are not visible. So nothing is done for them. These children goes into violence, hoping to get some attention as media loves violence. 

This is a terrific, sad and heartbreaking movie. Must watch.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful review Rajesh. It must be a movie definitely falling in my interest.