Tropa de Elite

I was a bit depressed last night that for the first time in three seasons I was going to miss the first episode of my favorite show, Project Runway, because I am in Brazil right now. I know I can always watch it online later (as I watch Heroes), but it is just not the same thing.

So in order not to slit my wrists last night I decided to finally make the time to go see Tropa de Elite, probably one of the most controversial Brazilian movies to date.

I could have watched the movie before since it has already been available for over two months as a bootleg DVD, but I wanted to make sure I paid for a ticket to see it, as my own little way of making sure the national film industry keeps on growing. Strangely enough though, the buzz around Tropa de Elite was probably caused mostly by the piracy scandal around it. As soon as bootleg copies made their way to the streets of São Paulo and Rio, all the Brazilian media could talk about was the brutality and raw violence on-screen.

The plot revolves around a captain of the BOPE or Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais, the Special Police Operations Battalion of the Rio de Janeiro Military Police, trying to find a suitable replacement in two young cadets in order to leave the battalion. Tropa de Elite, however, is much more than that. It is a movie about the corrupt relationship between the military police and drug traffic in Rio, contrasted by the high moral standards of the BOPE. Like City Of God, Tropa de Elite does not merely paint a picture of the reality in the slums of Rio; it raises important questions about social differences and the consequences of drug traffic, and scares you with the lack of an immediate answer. It is a portrait of a harsh reality which is embarrassing and difficult to watch, but that cannot be denied.

I did not get to see Heidi, Tim, Nina, and Mr. Kors dish about garments sewn in a day last night, but I did get to see what is probably one of the best movies produced in Brazil to date. As soon as it makes its way to theaters in North America and Europe, I highly recommend that you all go see it.

Click here for the official preview.


I already saw it, it's nothing new. Those people are treated horrible and nothing will ever change. I don't recall who it was but it was someone kind of powerful, he even said that the system was created to protect the rich. It makes me sad that people truly do not care.

I saw Ulli, from PR Season 3 at Starbucks on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, FL a couple of days ago. She looks the same as on TV and my instinct was to say hi - then I remembered that I just THINK I know her...

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