I just watched the highly controversial Tropa de Elite, which I was desperate to see after seeing just a few seconds of a report about it from BBC news and consequently Googling it up. The movie runs a narrative using the voice of Capitao Nascimiento (played by the amazing Wagner Moura), a fictional leader of the BOPE or Special Operations Battalion, and elite corp of highly trained soldiers that, if the accounts from the movie are true, operate above the law in what it perceives as an all – out war against drug trafficking in the poor sections of Rio, Brazil.
The movie is a stunning display of violence and real life in the drug dependent slums of Rio, where large sections called Favelas are controlled by drug lords with small armies armed to the teeth with high powered rifles they carry around with them like jewelry. The streets are dark and dirty, the poor wear tatters and live in sub human conditions, the local police are so crooked and desperately corrupt that they often end up in turf fights of their own, and the rich College kids are lazy, doped out brats whose insulated view of the world makes them just as guilty to the depravity around them. On one hand, they work in NGOs trying to help the poor and mouth slogans and sing songs against the police, but on the other they consume and even distribute drugs that helps fund the cartels. A pretty familiar world for the typical city dwelling low income Pinoy, if you ask me.