Bus 174

Normally in movies the guy that has taken hostages is the bad guy, you are not supposed to feel sympathy for him or his plight but Bus 174 does a role reversal and really makes the audience feel sympathy fr this boy who is a creation of the harsh environment of Brazil. The interviews from people on the bus to the police negotiators to the reporters who filmed the entire debacle, one is left with a confused sense of who was really the victim in all of this. That theme is evident in the writings of both Ramos and Guillermoprieto.

Ramos’ short story about being robbed is one that should really enrage the audience. The man can’t even take a taxi home or look like a semi-well off man without getting held up. However, the story goes on to really make you feel bad for both parties. He’s just a man trying to make a living and these men are too but in totally different ways. The robbers weren’t bad men, they weren’t out right killers but they did precisely what they had to do to survive and this theme translates perfectly back to Sandro. His life on the street molded him into someone who had to do unsavory things just to survive and try to make a life for himself. That is the harsh reality of the streets of Brazil and the children that are left to survive on their own.

Guillermoprieto focuses on the Americanization of Mexico and how it makes people fear for losing their culture and how modernization is putting some people in fear of losing what economic comfort they actually have. Just like the movie and the other article one is left wondering who is the victim? Is modernization to blame for a cultural blending? Is free trade really going to hurt another country that much? Is the victim Americans who could lose their jobs to Mexican workers in Mexico who work for cheaper prices or the workers already in Mexico who could lose their jobs to imports?

These articles are so loaded with confusion that one really does not know what party to root for the same is most certainly said for Bus 174. The hostages on the bus need support, the police chief needs support to actually do the right thing, and Sandro needs support to realize that nothing good is going to come out of this, and absolutely nothing does. Who really is the hero of Bus 174? Who’s the hero of any of these tales?