Send a Bullet
Brazilian-American coproduction is a cleverly constructed documentary
about the proliferation of violence in the Brazilian city of San Paolo.
With a population of over 20 million, the gap between the rich and the
poor has incited corruption amongst politicians and kidnappings amongst
those less fortunate. We follow a number of stories concurrently - a
woman who had both hear ears cut off during a kidnapping and the plastic
surgeon who restored them, a wealthy businessmen's tireless efforts
protect himself from crime, a corrupt politician who continues to
maintain his innocence and a kidnapper who moved from the poorer rural
areas of Brazil to San Paolo in search of wealth. These threads are
bound by the investigation of a frog farm, something pivotal to those in
power but of which no one wishes to speak.
Producer and director Jason Kohn cleverly interweaves this material,
employing slick graphics and deft editing to strengthen material which
was already inherently powerful. There is barely a shot that relies on a
typical setup - even though he most of his interviewees sit beside their
interpreters, Kohn shoots them in erratically framed close and medium
shots to the tune of pulsating Brazilian pop. Despite most speaking
Portuguese, much of the film is edited to be in English, clearly a
clever ploy to its target audience.
In an effort to be entertaining, however, Send a Bullet ultimately
doesn't bring together its disparate strands into a singular thesis.
Yes, the give-and-take of crime and violence between the upper and lower
classes is prevalent and a serious issue, but what can be done to
improve the situation? Kohn, who has previously worked with Errol
Morris, is undoubtedly talented, but here he brings little of his
perspective beyond a distinctive visual style. Nonetheless, Send a
Bullet is an entertaining documentary that sheds light on a problem
likely not known to many outside Brazil.
This madman DVD release contains both a Dolby 2.0 and 5.1 audio track,
deleted scenes and an audio commentary by Kohn and fellow producer Jared