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.

Batista Out!!! Hope for Argentina

The words that I was dreaming a lot, since I watched Argentina playing against Bolivia in the inaugural match of Copa America '11 is out.

AFA has decided to not continue with Batista as the Albiceleste coach.

Argentina has been the best under achieving team in world football since 1993. Since 93 they could not win a single major tournament, inspite of playing good. This culminated in 2006 World cup when they were out in the quarters after losing to Germany in penalties and were rated as one of the best teams in the world that did not win a world cup. Argentina was playing mesmerising possession football till then. There after, in 2007 they reached Copa America finals, playing the best football they have played in the last decade, but choked to Brazil in the finals. After that finals, Argentina has never gone back to its best, inspite of having some of the world's best talents.

In 2010 World cup, they took a gamble by giving the coaching job to Deigo Maradona who lacked any coaching experience. With his charm to keep the whole team as a single unit, Deigo managed to make Argentina play the best attacking football till the pre quarters. However, he was a disaster tactically and when faced against an astute tactician like Geochim Leow of Germany Argentina had to pack its bag.

And then came Batista, the defensive mid fielder who held the fort when Deigo was the best attacking midfielder in  '86. Batista announced his desire to play like Barcelona and proved it by keeping Tevez out of the team for long. It was quite clear that Tevez could never play together with players like Messi as he was too individualistic. Well he was forced by public opinion and just before the Copa America, Batista made a topsy turvy and took Tevez in the team. It was quite sure then that Argentina will not last long in the tournament.

I still had my hopes as Maradona had managed to keep down the ego of Tevez in the world cup. Then came the inaugural match of Copa and it proved what a poor tactician Batista was. He decided to give Leo Messi the same role as in Barca, the false 9, but kept absolutely wrong players around him. Tevez and Lavezzi at the wings and the 3 defensive midfielders behind. Messi has revolutionised the idea of False 9, ever since he first played that role against Manchester United in the Champions League final in Rome '09. But for this to succeed, he needed players with lot of mobility by his sides, making lot of movements and off the ball runs. But it turned out that most Argentine players wanted to prove they were better than Messi and Argentina failed as a team. After one more horrible display against Columbia, Batista kept out Tevez and Lavezzi against Cota rica and also introduced more mobile players. Even if the tactics was not much better, for eg. he used De Maria in the centre of the field, there was some difference to the play. And then came Uruguay lead by a master tactitician, Tabarez, and Batista didnt know how to make use of the man advantage, when Uruguay were playing with 10 men. He infact was really poor and showed that he was absolutely 0, when he bought back Tevez and made him play even behind Messi. Till that match Argentine media was happy to put all the blame on Messi, yes the poor maestro, and ignore all other problems. But this match opened the eyes of many. And here is the result. Batista is out.

Nobody knows who the next person will be. I simply wish it will be a person with real experience. There are news that Sabella, who took an Argentine team with ordinary players all the way up to the club world cup final and gave Barcelona a real scare in the 2009 final, could be the new man. That was one of the toughest matches for Barcelona in the recent times I have seen, and if it is that coach, he might turn out good.

I really wish, Argentina finds a good coach who is tactically as astute as Tabarez or Guardiola. It will be such a pity if a country with so much of bloody talent (Messi, Aguero, Higuain, Pastore, Mascherrano, Banega all should be around 25 - 29 years for next world cup, at their primes) will not at least reach the finals of the Brazil world cup.