The Journey with Jesus: Film Reviews
Film Reviews by Dan Clendenin
Manda Bala (2007) — Brazil
This documentary by Jason Kohn won a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance for its graphic portrayal of corruption and violence in contemporary Brazil. The film centers around three main stories. Jader Barbalho, president of Brazil's Senate, was convicted of laundering about $9 billion through 400 fake companies with money that was earmarked for the poor. His judicial cronies overturned his prison sentence. Mr. M. explains the world of kidnapping, and how because of it all sorts of industries have sprung up to protect the rich — private helicopters that allow one to avoid traveling in cars, micro-chips embedded in your body so that you can be monitored at all times, and his own company that bulletproofs cars for $55,000 (much cheaper than ransoms). And then Patricia details her own horrific experience as a kidnap victim. The film draws upon graphic film footage made by kidnappers, and interviews with police, judges, a plastic surgeon who specializes in reconstructing mutilated ears, and one of the kidnappers in a ski mask. In Portuguese with English subtitles and translations (the title means "send a bullet").