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1 item from 2011

Why Brazil's favela films remain flavour of the noughties

18 August 2011 3:27 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

In the second of our global cinema series, Phil Hoad looks at how Brazilian films such as José Padilha's Elite Squad series sold gritty social commentary to Hollywood

When Elite Squad (Tropa de Elite), José Padilha's film about Rio de Janeiro's infamous military-police unit, Bope, was released in 2007 the director found himself under siege. Many critics found its full-frontal assault on the issue of favela violence – baldly narrated by the trigger-happy Captain Nascimento (Wagner Moura) – too much to take. Variety dubbed it "a one-note celebration of violence-for-good", while Brazilian film critic Marcelo Janot said: "It's really dangerous when a film suggests that the fascist Bope methods are the only solution to 'clean' a city."

They'd probably take the dim view of Padilha's decision to make a sequel, with Nascimento, the Brazilian Dirty Harry, picking up where he left off: crouched behind a car under a storm of gunfire. »

- Phil Hoad

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