Golden Bear for Tropa de Elite – really ? ? ?

It shouldn’t be that way, no?
Sorry, that I changed my program, but this message this morning just made me wonder and I had to make a post on this.

‘Tropa de Elite’ was released in Sept./Oct. 2007 at the ‘Festival do Rio’ where it initiated the discussion on piracy. Pavement vendors had sold DVDs before the official release. Them, too, wanted to get some money out of it. And the hard-sell of this film – which is based novel effects and – worked out well too much so these vendors at that managed to sell old violent films as ‘Tropa de Elite II to V’.

In Rio people loved the film as a kid of ‘Cidade de Deus/City of God’ or hated it because of talking of these taboo issues. This was the best publicity for the film.
I’ve seen kids on the street playing, reciting/quoting dialogues from the film, rehearsing scenes of tropa de elite. Didn’t the message hit us bad enough? Haven’t we still not understood the danger of these kind of films?

These films are romanticizing the drug problem in megacities. Violence seems to be the export hit from Rio. I don’t believe in the fact that we need to see that violence in the movies to come to know the problem. This is pure gaping at inhuman conditions and of course making huge profit out of it.

We already know that:
“… in the first nine months of 2006 in Rio de Janeiro police killed 807 people …” and
” … The poorest communities bore the brunt of the tens of thousands of gun-related deaths.”
amnesty international.

“People of a Rio slum fear that the police killing of a drug boss will bring more grief”
guardian from uk.

“Interrogation is quite easy to do:
Beat the slum-dweller; whip him black and blue.
Interrogation is quite easy to end:
Beat the scum criminal; whip him till he’s dead.

Lines sung by BOPE – Portuguese initials of the Special Operations Battalion of Rio de Janeiro’s Military Police – during their daily duties.”
Rede Social

“Between December of 1987 and November 2001, violent death claimed 3,937 Cariocas, or local residents, under 18 years of age. By comparison, during the same period, 467 minors died in and around the West Bank between Jordan and Israel, which is considered a war zone by the international community.”
Drug Lords and Young Soldiers‘ by Sam Logan
And this is just a quick research on English sites.

So, is it really true that the International Film Festival, a German cultural institution, awards it with a Golden Bear?
I still haven’t found anything on their motivation to award this film, but I found it very hard to convince me that this film needs it and that we need this film.

Some background information:
Tropa de Elite‘ and ‘BOPE‘ on wikipedia. Have a look at the BOPE’s logo. I don’t believe that a good way to prevent violence.

The trailer in Portuguese:

5 thoughts on “Golden Bear for Tropa de Elite – really ? ? ?

  1. atriz

    bem ! . depois do cidade de deus .teve uma explosao de
    de filmes mostrando o cotidiano carioca que tambem nao deixa de ser
    realidade (uma gerra civil ).
    o filme sendo exportado ,para os grandes festivais do mundo.
    é preucupante a relaçao do brasil e o mundo.
    aconselho a todos que leiam o livro .

    julakim is translating:
    okay ! after the city of god we had an explosion of movies showing the carioca everyday-life which can’t help to be real (civil war).
    The film gets exported to the big festivals in the world.
    The relation ship of Brazil with the world is alarming.
    I suggest everyone to read the book.

  2. architect, comic designer

    I think that people just need violence. I can be the reality of Rio (I think so) but it is also an action movie, the last cool action movie from the cool dangerous favelas. And the people will see the movie and say : yes it’s horrible, the violence, how can it be true? and denn go to the restaurant and order a bloody steak.

    And by the way, a film has never changed something in the world, but I think a positive movie can do the people happier, just for an instant; that’s what i call positive energy.

    take care

  3. landscapearchitect

    it is the same discussion as: shall we have tourist guides showing the favelas or not. is it bad to look at poverty or not. of course it always seams to be very voyeuristic on one hand but on the other hand turning away from it is also wrong. watching brazilian soap operas leaves the impression there was no poverty, everything was just perfect and life was an ongoing disneyland.

    i didnt like the main actor in tropa de elite being a saint all through the film. that was deffinitly too much. t i thought it was smart letting the ngo students use drugs, keeping the business alive. we all use drugs. some of them are legalized, some are not. in the end it all comes down to money issues. and this is what causes the war. thats the sad truth. i thought this was pretty easy to understand. unfortunatelly the brazilian education is one of the worst in the world. most people are not able to think abstract nor willing to think on their own. they basically only see and repeat. they are not used to discuss something nor to develop an idea – i am talking about 90% of the population. this is why you find kids in the street playing the movie and adults loving it. because they dont think about what kind of message is entering the childs head. they also dont even know themselves what they should actually think about it. if nobody tells them what to think, they are a bit lost. the message of a movie like this can only be understood by an educated person. if the brazilian government would invest in education, they would be able to solve so many problems. but they prefer to keep the people stupid. probably because they are afraid they might learn about the corruption and even might learn how to defend and help themselves.

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