To celebrate Rio de Janeiro getting the Summer Olympics, I present a film that captures the never-ending struggle between the dealers in the favelas and the underpaid, psychologically tormented cops that do battle against each other on a daily basis. It is an eye-opening account of the lengths the government goes to to ensure public safety during large-scale events in Rio.
Tropa De Elite
Release Date September 19, 2008 (USA).
Running Time 2 hours.
Portuguese w/english subtitles.
During the Pope's visit to Rio, the pontiff wanted to spend a night in one of Rio's infamous favelas (slums). It was up to BOPE, the city's elite squad of police officers, to ensure his safety and clear out the gangsters who would potentially cause trouble.
The story revolves around two rookies trying to make the cut and a squad leader who, at his wit's end with the never-ending cycle of violence and death, must choose his successor before leaving the squad for good. The squad leader is played by Wagner Moura (pictured below), one of Brazil's best young actors who's been featured in "Carandiru" and "Lower City". This guys brings it in every performance he gives, and it the main reason why this film is such a knockout.