Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tropa de Elite (Elite Squad)

This is the film that won the Golden Bear at the 2008 Berlinale and generated some controversy among some festival organizers, as some did not agree with the win. After seeing it I think I know why some are questioning the win and perhaps is more related to the story than the movie as is a raw and violent account of the wars in Rio de Janeiro favelas (or slums).

Basically tells about special forces military police (BOPE) captain that because his wife is having their first son, is trying to find a worthy substitute so he can do a less dangerous work. As the story develops the captain crosses roads with two police rookies and one of them will become his substitute. But in a way this movie is a glorification of brutish and quite fascist police methods in the so-called war against drugs.

Honestly is brutally violent and hard to watch, but amazingly I did watch the complete movie and couldn’t take my eyes from the big screen. Of course I had a headache after.

The movie was a huge success in Brazil and I imagine it is suited for those that like Rambo-style heroes but here is even more disturbing as the movie has a cinema verité style and at moments looks and feels like a documentary especially because an omnipresent narration that annoys quite a bit.

Haven’t seen yet other movies from the Berlinale but I do wonder why this movie got the top award as it is not the “typical” festival movie.

I cannot recommend this movie, but I know some of you have to watch because the top award it won at the Berlinale. But I suggest you consider -before or after watching this movie- that if you live in any so-called third world countries with slums, gangs, drugs, corruption, etc. you just need to go to the wrong side of town and you’ll be able to see everything they show here LIVE.

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