Bus 174

Director: Felipe Lacerda and Jose Padilha

Brazil| 2002. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 119 mins.

This transfixing account of a Rio de Janeiro bus hijacking is told with all the narrative tension of a thriller. Hijacker Sandro do Nascimento’s trajectory from family catastrophe to street kid and kidnapper was initiated at a very young age when he witnessed his mother’s brutal murder. Through riveting news footage, interviews and testimonies, the film tracks his short life, touching on issues of poverty, violence, injustice, drug addiction, child abuse, police brutality and media responsibility. Like its spiritual kin, from Los Olvidados to City of God, the dispiriting message of Felipe Lacerda and Jose Padilha’s extraordinary film is that the number of forgotten children roaming the streets of Latin America continues to swell like a spiritual abscess.

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