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The hottest documentarist around

December 4, 2009

Keep your eyes on José Padilha, the director whose movies dissect the social mechanisms that perpetuate violence and poverty. His latest work, “Garapa” (the sugar cane juice used to conceal hunger when one has nothing else to eat), will be representing Brazil at the Sundance Festival, the biggest showcase of independent movies. The film follows three starving families during a month. It is in black & white, has minimal interventions and no soundtrack. It obviously disregards mainstream moviegoers but those willing to pay to get depressed on the way to enlightenment.

Padilha´s films are consistently disturbing. His first feature as a director, “Bus 174” (Ônibus 174), recalls an episode where police intervention converted the robbery of a city bus into a tragedy. Then, he produced “Estamira“, that depicts a schizophrenic woman who has lived for decades in a landfill in Rio. In 2007, he was widely acclaimed by “Elite Squad” (Tropa de Elite), the fictional portrait, in all hues of red, of the clashes between the police and dealers based in the favelas (shantytowns) of Rio. An estimate of 11 million people watched the pirate version of the movie – the rumour is that allowing piracy was part of its promotional strategy. It seems to have worked – it was a blockbuster in movie theaters and gave Padilha the Golden Bear of the Berlin International Film Festival.

Check this interview with Padilha on “Garapa” during the Tribeca Film Festival, in New York

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2 comments

  1. so much trash and 60% coconuts, is a good thing Que no? that is as long as it employs people.and are coconuts really trash. could they be recycled into fuel or fiber?
    I love your blog. and i am your biggest fan in the whole world.


  2. […] director of “Cidade de Deus/City of God” and “The Constant Gardener”) and José Padilha (“Tropa de Elite/Elite Squad”) will direct segments of the new […]



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