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 »
"Manda Bala" is everything you could want in a documentary, or in any film, for that matter! Directed in a style akin to the finer films of Errol Morris, "Manda Bala" is beautifully shot, brilliantly edited, and has a tremendous musical score. Shot in Brazil over several years, this documentary smartly examines the nature of corruption and class division in a truly engaging & entertaining way; the film is gripping from beginning to end, and has an immediacy that has world-wide relevance and resonance. The story is tightly woven, but the film still breathes in an almost perfect way, with just the right amount of tension & release. I am INCREDIBLY impressed by the amazing, dare I say artistic work that first-time director Jason Kohn has toiled to put together. Everyone-and-their-brothers-in-law-too should go see "Manda Bala", as soon as it's given wide-release, post-Sundance!
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