Release date:August 17, 2007
Studio:City Lights Pictures
Brazil is known for its beautiful beaches, lush rain forests, and vibrant culture. However, in recent years, the country has developed more of a reputation for corrupt politicians, kidnapping, and plastic surgery. "Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)" artfully connects these seemingly disparate elements and conducts a dazzling, yet harrowing, examination of the tragic domino effect that has reshaped the face of the country and created an entire industry built on corruption. From its unlikely opening on a money-laundering frog farm, "Manda Bala" displays a strikingly distinctive tone. Featuring a stylish score and articulate interviews with kidnappers, kidnap victims, and the people who profit off them, as well as the paranoid people whose lives they impact, it looks and sounds more like a stylized fiction film than a heavy political doc. However, it is never glib or trivial, and always inventive and haunting. It documents Brazilian reality without falling into patronizing clichés and reveals that corruption and kidnapping represent two sides of the same violent crime: the rich steal from the poor while the poor steal the rich.