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.
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Mark W. Bennett
"We've worked so hard on this land," says Sav Samourn. "And now they've come to destroy it all. Sooner or later it will all be gone." In her directorial debut, award-winning filmmaker ... See full summary »
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 »
Want to learn more about crime and corruption in Brasil? Look no further
This film will teach you a lot that you didn't know about Brazilian society and that nation's struggles with deep undercurrents of poverty, corruption, extortion and social confrontation. It fails to fully connect the dots in terms of why and how these problems manifest, but it definitely exposes a good deal of truth in terms of day-to-day realities for some of Brasil's wealthy and poor citizens. It's an aesthetically-driven documentary, with visual meditations on frogs, ears, cityscapes and the expressions of interview subjects and their sometimes equally intriguing interpreters. The soundtrack is an alluring collection of Brazilian pop and traditional arrangements that hums away in the background, as we watch some rather interesting folks talk about how they fit into the skewed morass of Brazilian society, whether perpetrator, victim, agent of the law or medical healer. Be warned: some of the raw kidnapping footage is graphic and disturbing.
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