Bus 174

Bus 174 is a documentary from Brazil which was released on October 22, 2002. It depicts and examines the hijacking of a bus in Rio de Janeiro a few years before. The film analyzes how the lower class of society is treated by the police, who are shown as incompetent and being full of indifference. The film uses actual footage from the incident as well as many interviews of survivors and even relatives of the gunman. The film really shows well what happens when society breaks down and basic human urges come out. It shows how Brazilian society is affected by drug abuse, police brutality, theft, child abuse, juvenile crime, and police inadequacy. It shows that these Latin American metropolitan areas are growing at such a rate that police forces and governments are having harder times controlling the populace. The “I saw a city invincible” readings discuss this with “As metropolitan areas have turned into demographic giants, they have become increasingly difficult to administer”. Cities are simply growing at such an alarming rate that no one seems to know how to put a system in place, which would be able to allow society to prosper. The readings later discuss how its even more alarming for these Latin American cities when one looks at Latin American culture. More than other countries around the world, Latin American civilizations have placed a great emphasis on cities and their positive potentials. “No other people have paid more attention over the ages to their urban dimensions then the Latin Americans”. Both the Spanish and many of the Native American societies placed a lot into their urban cities. Since they are such a huge part of Latin American culture, it is crucial that a better administration of the cities come soon. If not there will be more incidents like the one from the film occurring across Latin America. One thing that must also be addressed is police incompetence shown in this film which has been proven to run rampant throughout Latin American society. A system needs to be set up which brings justice to these people and does not exploit them for power. The Guillermoprieto reading discusses various inadequacies and also unfair justice of power figures. When three guerilla fighters are captured, one of the captives makes a deal with the officer interrogating him. He informs the officer that only if the officer kills the other captive will he give him the information. The officer obliges the captive and commits a murder. This shows perfectly the kind of unfair system that is set up in many Latin American nations. When there is not a just system in place, anarchy and crime will run rampant.

The opening scene was extremely powerful as it shows how the wealthy in Rio de Janeiro live, then immediately shows the slums. These two extremes of society live so close together which shows a lot about their society. Throughout Latin America this is the case as the extremely wealthy and extremely poor learn to coexist. This is different then what you typically see in United States cities as there is usually more of a blend between the impoverished, middle class and wealthy.