Manda Bala

Jason Kohn, 85 min, USA, Brazil.

An examination of corruption and class warfare in Brazil as told through the stories of a wealthy businessman, a plastic surgeon who assists kidnapping victims and a politician whose income relies on a frog farm.

Brazil is famous for its beautiful beaches, lush rain forests and its vibrating culture. Over the last few years, the country has developed a reputation of corrupt politicians, kidnappings and plastic surgery. Manda Bala (Send a Bullet) combines these seemingly disparate elements in a clever way and creates a dazzling portrait of a tragic domino effect that has changed the country and created a whole industry based on corruption.

From the improbable and unexpected opening on a frog farm used to launder money, Manda Bala sets a distinct and striking tone. Through interviews with kidnappers and their victims, a plastic surgeon that reconstructs the eyes of the latter and a business man that's bullet proofing his cars, the film almost feels more like stylized fiction than a hard-hitting political documentary. It documents Brazil's reality without falling prey to patronizing cliches and reveals that corruption and kidnappings represent two sides of the same violent crime - the rich stealing from Brazil's poor, while the poor in turn steal the rich...

Joson Kohn, mentored by Erroll Morris, has crafted a fantastic documentary that will hopefully will be the start of a new wave in the genre.

Manda Bala won the Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.