An examination of corruption and class warfare in Brazil as told through the stories of a wealthy businessman, a plastic surgeon who assists kidnapping victims and a politician whose income relies on a frog farm.
Several stories are told simultaneously: a frog farm in northern Brasil launders money for a corrupt politician; a young woman who was kidnapped for ransom talks about her ordeal; a plastic surgeon discusses then demonstrates how to reconstruct a severed ear; a young business man has his cars armored and takes a course in evasive driving; a policeman in Sao Paulo's anti-kidnapping squad discusses his work; a civil engineer, the attorney general, and a district attorney describe their anti-corruption efforts. Violence and corruption is Brasil: the object is money. Written by
The filmmakers struggled to find a kidnapper to film after the bribes to get into the prison where their preferred interviewee was staying proved too steep. The driver of a cab they used one day delivered "packages" on the side for a kidnapper, and introduced them to the masked man interviewed extensively in the film. Director Jason Kohn also was at the kidnapper's home when police stopped by and walked around the outside, the one moment of filming he said he feared for his life. See more »
This film is a documentary only insofar as the characters are people playing themselves. Director Jason Kohn has no interest in exploring or understanding the issues the film purports to examine, rather pandering to the audience by prodding his subjects to tell their most shocking stories and judging them immediately after.
The corruption and violence are presented in a near total vacuum of context, adding to the cynical view towards the subjects involved. The absurdity of truth is pushed to its limit for the purpose of entertainment, effectively stripping away all meaning from the truly deplorable situation in Brazil. The reaction Mr. Kohn is after, and is quite talented at achieving, is a "Wow, that's f****d up!". Nothing more. There's something to be said of a documentarian whose sole purpose is to "Entertain people". There really isn't much more at play in this "documentary." It will be interesting to see what tabloid material Kohn tackles next.
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