(No longer in theaters)
Joey Frank, Jared Goldman, Jason Kohn
Slowhand Cinema Releasing
Aug 17, 2007
Jason Kohn’s gripping Manda Bala (“Send a Bullet”) is the opposite of a high-school science doc. It’s a free-form portrait of a place—Brazil—with scary running motifs: kidnapping, mutilation, plastic surgery, bulletproofing, and frog farming. On a breathtaking widescreen, Kohn surveys a city, São Paulo, in which abduction and ransom are big business, in which plastic surgeons get rich replacing earlobes sliced off and mailed to families, in which corruption reaches from the country’s most powerful senator to its least powerful slum-dweller—a kidnapper who muses that maybe one of the ten kids he mutilates people to support will grow up to be president and change things for the better. The sums skimmed from northern Brazilian frog farms are nothing compared to, say, what Halliburton makes off the average bungled Iraqi plant or hospital, but it’s enough to play havoc with the Brazilian Amazon, which is enough to accelerate global warming. And there goes Dorothy over the Verrazano!