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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Bus 174 (2002). Directed by José Padilha and Felipe Lacerda. The film is a documentary based around the bungled robbery of Bus 174 in Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro, in June 2000. It explores both the robbery and subsequent hostage taking on the bus, along with the history of the robber (Sandro) and the culture that created him. Bus 174 is both a difficult and compelling watch, as the real events played out in front of TV cameras, police and hundreds of onlookers. For those who did not witness this on TV in 2000 there's a sense of the events playing out live, using the vast amounts of TV footage taken at the time, intercut with footage of Sandro's friends and family, those who were taken hostage on the bus, police, and other cultural commentators. Ultimately the documentary does not take a moral position, but leaves the viewer to think about who and/or what is at fault. Recommended for those interested in both biographies and foreign cultures. I won't score this, as it doesn't feel right to mark it as a piece of entertainment.


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