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Mar 25, 2005

Bus174

This must be the only documentary in which the entire hijack(of any kind) has been filmed live and clear anywhere in the world. If CNN's live broadcast(of shooting flares and dim gun totting figures and tanks) of Kuwait War of 1991 was a major event in TV history, Bus 174 is a major milestone in documentary film making.

Better than a crime thriller, it keeps you on the edge of your street for the whole two hours because you know that the Bus 174 is hijacked for real, the trauma the passengers undergo when one by one each one of them is paraded by the hijacker at gun point is real, there is no hero waiting in the wings for the right moments to kick the living lights out of the hijacker, only the incompetent Brazilian police.

More than an action movie, Bus 174 is also a sociological statement. The hijacker himself a victim of the police cruelty, the inhuman treatment of street kids and the justice system in Brazil turns his wrath on a group of bus passengers on Dec 12th 2000. He wanted to be in the world's eye for one day and wanted to take revenge for the 1993 Candelabrian street kids massacre(he was one of the survivors), hijacking Bus 174 was his fifteen minutes of fame, though it went on a lot longer than 15 minutes. The entire hijack episode on live TV is interspersed with talks with policemen, hijacker's friends, relatives, the hostages(at a later point in time) and the review of the police system, society, favelas and the social treatment of street kids. A very serious, must watch, mile stone documentary.

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