Bus 174 (2002)

5 Mar

Review of the documentary Bus 174

The discussion is as old as time: Are people a product of their environment or is most of it genetics? After watching this documentary my conclusion would be that environment is the biggest influence. This documentary is a riveting example of it. A failed robbery aboard a bus, which then changed into a hostage situation (and was broadcasted live) was something which kept Brazilians glued to their TV in 2000. The perpetrator, Sandro Rosa do Nascimento, was unpredictable, threatening, but also in control of his situation. This single event is used to make clear that there are some pressing issues in Brazilian society, which might have led to this hostage situation.

Review of the documentary Bus 174

It is clear that Nascimento had a tough time growing up, witnessing the murder of his mother and not being able to cope with it, resulting in a lot of bad choices and him living the life of an outcast. But it also looks into other problems. The police force consists of a lot of people who didn’t get a lot of training, they don’t have the technical means to keep each other informed (during the hostage they have to signal with their hands). Some of them give the force a bad name as they beat up street children (or even worse). Once someone is arrested the situation in the jails isn’t much better as some people have to wait for ages in cramped cells for a trial, being treated very badly while they are locked up.

Review of the documentary Bus 174

Bus 174 is told through various interviews with policemen, friends and family of Nascimento and those taken hostage. It also uses footage of the hostage situation, where you see Nascimento screaming against the police and threatening the hostages with his gun. If you have never heard of the story (like I did) it is as exciting to watch as any other good thriller and the ending, to me, was a very unexpected one. As all sides of the story are told, you are able to construct a good idea of what issues lead to this situation and what changes would need to be made in society to improve the situation.

Score: 10

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