• 15
  • José Padilha (2002)
  • Bra (SUB)
  • 131 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

An outstanding example of the crusading documentary, this account of the tragic life and times of Rio street kid Sandro do Nascimento lays bare the inhumanity, incompetence and indifference that allow so many born into poverty to sink into depravity. On 12 June 2000, Sandro hijacked a bus and held the occupants hostage for over four hours. The stand-off was broadcast live to the nation and José Padilha and co-director Felipe Lacerda make compelling use of the contemporary TV footage. They also reveal his traumatic childhood - witnessing his mother's murder and, later, the butchering of his pals outside a church by men believed to be off-duty cops - and interview friends, SWAT officers and surviving hostages. The violent dénouement is perhaps over-dramatised, but, by then, the film-makers' points about Sandro, urban decay and the class divide in Brazilian society have been more than well made.

Plot Summary

Crime documentary that examines the events surrounding an armed siege in Rio de Janeiro. Brought up in the city's slums, 21-year-old Sandro do Nascimento held the nation's attention on 12 June 2000 when he hijacked a bus at gunpoint. The stand-off that followed was watched by millions of Brazilians on TV.

Cast and crew


Sandro do Nascimento
Sandro do Nascimento
Yvonne Bezerra De Mello
Yvonne Bezerra De Mello
Rodrigo Pimental
Rodrigo Pimental
Luiz Eduardo Soares
Luiz Eduardo Soares


José Padilha
Felipe Lacerda

Other Information

Portuguese +subtitles
Colour and Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
Contains violence, swearing and drug abuse.
Available on DVD
Released 30 Apr 2004
Certificate 15
Metrodome Distribution Ltd