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Bus 174 (Ônibus 174) (2002)

  Directed by: Felipe Lacerda, Josť Padilha
Starring: Sandro do Nascimento
Links: Bus 174 on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Documentary

This movie gets: 7.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Shocking portrait of incompetence" - a review by pearly

In mid 2000, a man named Sandro do Nascimento took the passengers of a bus hostage in Rio de Janeiro. What followed was many hours of stand-off between do Nascimento and the police, who, standing outside the bus in order to try and negotiate, failed to take proper control of the situation.

The news media didn't take long to cotton on to the story, and the incident was filmed and put to live television in almost its entirety. The police, trained for such a situation, but out of practice, and with many outside factors impeding proper protocol, simply let the filming go on, and let the situation drag on and on. No one was to know how it would all end, but it seemed clear that there wouldn't be a happy ending.

Bus 174 takes much of the news footage, as well as interviews with both hostages, and the people who knew do Nascimento, and puts it all together in an examination of just what went on that day, and what led up to it.

The amount of footage is truly spectacular, and the obvious amount of research behind the documentary makes for a very informative piece. The hostage taker represents more than just one man, it's about a generation of people invisible to the country: the homeless. Having witnessed his mother's death at a young age, do Nascimento fled and lived his life on the streets. For a while, he looked to be getting back on his feet, but the events of that day proved just how far from that he really was.

Bus 174 is quite a compelling documentary. I could vaguely recall this news story, but had no memory of whether any of the hostages were killed, or what happened to their taker. So it played out somewhat like a fictional film; I was unsure of what would happen at the end. But more than this, it was captivatingly put together, and very informative. My main criticism would be that the resolution of what happened that day was placed too close to the end of the documentary, and seemed rushed. The filmmakers would have done better to place this bit about three quarters of the way through the film, and then have a bit more analysis of the overall event.

pearly gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 7 Dec 2004

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