Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)
Directed by Jason Kohn (2007)
Maori TV showed this 2007 documentary two nights ago – a timely choice in view of Brazilian legislative corruption that culminated in the illegal impeachment of democratically elected president Dilma Rousseff two months ago.
Send a Bullet is a horrifying account of class warfare, extreme wealth disparity and extreme violence in Sao Palo Brazil. The film has been banned in Brazil.
According to the filmmakers Sao Paulo, with a population of 20 million, experiences one kidnapping every single day. Ruthless outlaws routinely cut off ears and fingers to send with their ransom demands. The documentary profiles a Brazilian plastic surgeon who makes his living reattaching the severed ears of kidnap victims.
Because the government offers virtually no protection against kidnapping, wealthy Sao Paulo residents hire bodyguards, drive bullet proof cars and take special classes to protect themselves from kidnapping. Many rely on helicopters as the only safe method of transport.
The film also explores how organized crime has deeply infiltrated the Brazilian government, in large part because serving officials are exempt from prosecution in civilian courts.
Although the documentary is nine years old, a quick search of the Internet suggests that Brazil’s kidnapping epidemic persists unabated. In June gunmen kidnapped a New Zealand Jiu-Jitsu champion in the lead-up to the Olympics and in August the mother-in-law of the head of Formula One auto racing. Visitors to Brazil should consult the Globe Media website on the best way to protect themselves against kidnapping: Safety in Brazil
The only complete subtitled version of Send a Bullet I could find is at the Maori TV website: Send a Bullet