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Bus 174 (2002)
"Ônibus 174" (original title)

R  |   |  Documentary, Crime  |  30 August 2003 (Netherlands)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 6,318 users   Metascore: 83/100
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Documentary depicts what happened in Rio de Janeiro on June 12th 2000, when bus 174 was taken by an armed young man, threatening to shoot all the passengers. Transmitted live on all ... See full summary »

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Credited cast:
Anonymous ...
Himself - Rio SWAT Team Officer
Maria Aparecida ...
Herself - Damiana's Daughter
Captain Batista ...
Himself - Rio SWAT Team Negotiator
Luanna Belmon ...
Herself - Undergraduate Student
Claudete Beltrana ...
Herself - Former Street Kid
Luciana Carvalho ...
Herself - Secretary
Coelho ...
Himself - Former Street Kid
Damiana ...
Yvonne Bezerra de Mello ...
Herself - Social Worker
Julieta do Nacimento ...
Herself - Sandro's Maternal Aunt
Sandro do Nascimento ...
Himself (archive footage)
Dona Elza ...
Geísa Firmo Gonçalves ...
Herself (archive footage)
José Henrique ...
Himself - TV Cameraman
Cláudia Macumbinha ...
Herself - Former Street Kid


Documentary depicts what happened in Rio de Janeiro on June 12th 2000, when bus 174 was taken by an armed young man, threatening to shoot all the passengers. Transmitted live on all Brazilian TV networks, this shocking and tragic-ending event became one of violence's most shocking portraits, and one of the scariest examples of police incompetence and abuse in recent years. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, violent images and some drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

30 August 2003 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Autobus 174  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$8,625 (USA) (10 October 2003)


$216,158 (USA) (23 April 2004)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

20 April 2004 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

One of those moments when you realise that you know nothing about the roots of another culture or society. And when you start learning, the pits of your stomach heave and your heart collapses at the deplorable and impossibly harsh reality of other people's lives.

Onibus 174 is the piecing together of an event that took place in 2000 in Rio de Janeiro, where a gunman took a busload of passengers hostage. The whole event was televised live to the nation, and this documentary film uses this footage, along with interviews with survivors, friends and relatives of the gunman, to document the implications of a society that treats its poor with a disdain not even reserved for deformed animals.

I can honestly say I have never sat through a film that was as difficult to watch as this. Throughout most of it my stomach clenched with anxiety, pity, misery and sadness. I cried at the plight of the street kids. I cried at the description of the child seeing his mother being stabbed 3 times and crawling about with a kitchen knife sticking out of her shoulder until she died in front of him. I cried at the last moments of the hijacking. And I cried at the reaction of the baying, blood-thirsty crowd of on-lookers at the end. And all this from live images. As it happened. The crude, devastating vicissitudes of a society wracked with poverty and hardship.

I have no idea why this film affected me so profoundly, but there's no doubt that is was largely to do with witnessing the real effects of social meltdown. The street kids are merely trying to gather together the semblance of an existence. Suddenly the thefts and muggings became understandable; I could be swayed to be not just sympathetic towards, but defensive of their crime, such is the extent of their horrendous degradation. And this is the result of rendering them invisible.

A film that's devastating, enlightening and enfuriating in equal parts. It has to be watched, but beware that it'll make you all too aware of your own impotence.

82 of 88 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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the first girl supposedly shot inside the bus kaream
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Bus 174 1 of the best documentaries ever! debby-1
Just saw it... CellarDoor11
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Elite Squad? voodoochild312
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