Monday, September 17, 2024

Send a Bullet aims high

In Manda Bala (English title Send a Bullet) a documentary from Jason Kohn we meet the following cast of characters: a plastic surgeon, a kidnap victim in need of plastic surgery, a kidnapper, a frog farmer, a corrupt politician (Jader Barbalho as himself), and a policeman investigating same. If these people were in a fictional narrative their story would have you on the edge of your seat. The realization that this story is true will have you riveted to your theater chair.
The essence of Manda Bala is corruption in Brazil and in particular Sao Paulo a city of 25 million. To put that number in perspective consider that there are currently about 1.5-million people less in the entire state of Texas. Kohn seems to be concentrating on kidnap victims but then he broadens the range of the story to include every strata of society and (in the manner of All the President's Men) he follows the money. That monetary trail leads to fake companies taking huge contracts that total millions, and subsequently laundering that money in frog farms. Meanwhile the kidnappers have their turn in front of the camera and come off as victims of society forced to commit crimes to feed their families. Don¹t worry you won't feel too much compassion for these bastards after you witness a ransom video where they cut a man's ear off with a large kitchen knife.
Manda Bala is just one of a half dozen documentaries currently playing or opening in the next two weeks in Houston. Other quality docus include No End in Sight; The Devil Came on Horseback (Darfur genocide), In the Shadow of the Moon (Apollo missions), The King of Kong (video arcade game world¹s record); and Deep Water (docu on 1968 around the world boat race).

- Michael Bergeron


At September 19, 2024 5:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jader Barbalho wasn't played by an actor. That is in fact him. Please amend the article.

Jared Goldman
(Producer, Manda Bala)


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