Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Elite Squad

Can't get a film I went to see on Wednesday out of my head, Jose Padilha's Elite Squad. It's a Brazilian film which came out last year and is now getting a release here in Europe after it won a prize at the Berlin film festival.

The story, which is largely factual, concerns a squad of police officers who try to crack down on heavily armed drug dealers in Rio's favelas. But the entire enterprise is dogged by corruption and officially sanctioned brutality. Apart from being a powerful argument for never setting foot in Brazil it's ultimately a fairly nihilistic film. I won't spoil the ending but you won't be surprised to hear it's not jam packed with optimism and I left the cinema wondering what the point of its unrestrained depiction of violence was, save to appall and dispirit the viewer.

No comments: