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Bus 174 (Ônibus 174) Reviews

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familiar s

Super Reviewer

May 17, 2011
The intentions behind making this documentary might be good (i.e. achieving an award :p), but it moves very briskly. The more-than-often-repeated threat by the hijacker to "Set the heat up" made my blood boil. Guess his vocabulary was limited. The documentary is bearable otherwise. And even if the documentary was made with pure intentions, I wonder how long will its message last (assuming that it's not being conveyed to deaf ears), if at all it does.
Carlos M

Super Reviewer

September 26, 2010
A fantastically well-done and dilacerating piece of documentary that dives deep into an open sore in Brazilian society and exposes some of the most horrible social issues that have been bursting out of control in a city dominated by violence and indifference.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 9, 2009
The phrase 'Edge of your seat' is usually more commonly used to describe a thriller or suspense movie, not usually a documentary. Not the case here, the intense build up to the final conclusion is immense, its almost unbearable. This makes for one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. Highly recommended!

Super Reviewer

February 13, 2005
[font=Century Gothic][color=royalblue]"Bus 174" is a Brazilian documentary about a hostage crisis in a city bus in Rio de Janeiro in 2000. Several people were held hostage by a street person, Sandro do Nascimento. The police due to a lack of funding and training do not do a very good job of containing the scene, so the media's cameras get a lot closer to the scene than would normally happen. Luckily, the makers of this excellent documentary, Jose Padilha and Felipe Lacerda, have bigger things on their mind than making a sensationalist film. By using Nascimento as a sample case study, they examine the precarious state of street people in Brazil and some of their individual histories. The prisons of Brazil are shown to be brutal hellholes but the police hesitate when at the scene of the hostage crisis. Which goes to show that the police may act a completely different way when there are other people watching them. [/color][/font]
John B

Super Reviewer

October 28, 2007
A brilliant film that sends shivers down the spine..not in terms of the hostage taking but in terms of the prisons and society that the hostage taker endured. A real gem.
William G

Super Reviewer

November 9, 2006
Perpetually depressing look at unfortunate reality of abandoned Brazilian youth.
Remi L

Super Reviewer

April 21, 2011
An incredibly infuriating and saddening plight of a homeless child escalating into a violent hostage situation over a decade later. Bus 174 is a documentary about Sandro do Nascimento, a homeless man raised on the streets of Rio who attempts to rob a bus, but when things go awry, he holds the passengers hostage for four hours while surrounded by the local police, SWAT, several bystanders and a large flock of Brazilian media.

I won't lie, this documentary left me angry and sad and also beside myself. While what Sandro did was clearly wrong, its hard reconciling it with the fact that society had a hand in making him who he was. Very few members of his society had an interest in rehabilitating him, sheltering him or trying to improve his way of life. He was basically kicked from one place to another, and that's when he wasn't being harassed or assaulted by the local authorities. Granted he lived a life of crime, what alternative did he have: lay in a corner and starve to death?

My hats off to Jose Padilha and Felipe Lacerda for introducing this into the international film library and the world's consciousness. It shows that poverty is definitely a big factor in street crime and violence. Hopefully this film with its well-deserved successes sparked a debate at least amongst Sandro's fellow Brazilians to address the scores of homeless children living amongst them.
Wu C

Super Reviewer

June 2, 2007
Wow. Thought provoking and relentless. Real footage of the incident mixed in with interviews from people involved.

Super Reviewer

February 6, 2007
This documentary is breathtaking, truly a powerful work, an incendiary cirticism of social neglect that uses the hijacking of a bus as its entry point.

While the film begins with footage of the bus being taken over, it is quickly apparent that the hostage situation, despite its urgency, is merely the backbone. The film procedes to investigate Sandro's (the hostage-taker) life on the streets and it becomes immediately apparent how many institutions have failed and keep failing not just him, but hundreds of thousands of others like him. every day. Sandro's hijacking, while inexcusable (though he did not harm any hostages), was escentially a cry for help, and it is painful that someone would have to go to such drastic lengths in order to get the notice they deserve in their society.

The police's mishandling of the situation is ludicrous, and what happens to Sandro in the end is unnecessary and tragic, all of which is either shown or explained in the film.

Truly one to watch and ponder on.
June 8, 2011
So Brazil has issues I guess. No solutions are made readily apparent, so what's the puprose of watching? "Reality", as the anonymous street criminal kept putting it? That's OK for a documentary, I guess, but I still wonder what they think the best way out would be.
February 16, 2010
good & interesting & true story about a bus hijacker & his life & that of other street kids in Brazil... homeland security & law enforcement & reporters can learn lessons from this story...
June 4, 2007
Frustrated, angry, troubled, unable to find common ground with the society that shuns you. For Sandro, this is his everyday reality. He lives nowhere, has no one and nothing. What does one need to do in order to command attention? To summon someone, anyone to listen to the injustice and crime that has been done to them? For Sandro, his last resort came on June 2000 when he decided to hijack a city bus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is all caught on camera. What unfolds is an engrossing look into Sandro's world, before and after it all comes crashing down. A must-see.
June 2, 2007
Riveting and powerful. You've never seen a documentary quite like this. You feel sympathy for the perpetrator while hoping he gets shot in the face. You will have to try to sort out the blame and it will give you a headache trying to figure out what changes can be made to alter the system that created this tragedy.
March 15, 2007
Based on the seperation of rich and poor, and racism in Brazil. A Poor Black Brazil takes hostages on a bus so that he can be heard.
May 18, 2006
A documentary constructed perfectly from news footage, while deconstructing the Rio police. Gives a good background of hijacker Sandro do Nascimento.
August 13, 2013
Fascinating & disturbing; one of the best documentaries ever made.
July 11, 2013
it feels watching directly on the street for real, the disorder ambiance in the end, messing me up
July 4, 2013
Riveting, and a very sad conclusion.
June 4, 2013
Um filme forte e impactante sobre eventos acontecidos na vida real, onde ambos tem um final devastador!
April 2, 2013
One of the most tense films I've ever seen. Totally absorbing doc.
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