Bus 174

This film was based on the event that took place on June 12, 2000 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where a young man named Sandro do Nascimento held a group of passengers on a bus hostage.  Throughout the film he makes comments towards the law enforcement officers about the Candelaria massacre where a number of street children were gunned down.  It seems as the film continues that Sandro challenges the police officers to act towards him as they did towards the young children at the Candelaria church.  Of course, the police officers wouldn’t engage in any sort of combat in order to free the hostages because of the image that would be portrayed on national television.  The hostages continue to struggle with the situation they were forced in and the police officers continue to do nothing.  It’s understandable that the entire scenario was displayed on national television but the lack of control over the media, and all other bystanders involved, from the police contribute to the escalation of this terrible situation and ultimately the unimaginable and despicable outcome.

In the excerpt from Alma Guillermoprieto’s, “The Heart That Bleeds,” one reads about the controversy over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) being signed and the worry of United States business being relocated into Mexico and taking away mexican job opportunities for their own people and the multiple changes being brought into place for the idealization of ‘modernity’.  The outrage and disbelief that is displayed within this article can be linked to the bus 174 situation by correlating the difficult times that people were forced to go through and the difficult, but seemingly necessary, lifestyles.  The film depicts the harsh ways of life that young children are forced to endure because of the lack of options that are set within the children’s path.  They have to steal for food and fight to survive in the ignoring eyes of everyday life of others.  Just within the NAFTA proposal, the Mexican people were worried and stressed of the difficult times that lie ahead, that other people of the world were already experiencing.

In the article by Alberto Salcedo Ramos, “The Drive By Victim,” one reads about the frightening situation a man is put through when his taxi driver involves him in a robbery.  The victim was surprised when his taxi driver revealed his true nature of being involved with the robbery planned on the unsuspecting passenger.  When two other men jump in, threatening the passenger severely, and hitting and punching him a few times, the seemingly innocent ride turns brutal very quick. Ramos, the passenger, attempts to cooperate with the men controlling him with two out of three trying to be understanding but the third was holding onto his control with strong severity.  At the end of the article we find out that the robbers are trying to make a living and in no way, by not being armed, planned on harming their victim, they just wanted his cooperation and the money to survive.  By no means is poverty an advocation for violence but with Bus 174 and Ramos’ experience, it is mostly good people engaging in bad behaviors just to survive.  The term ‘good’ referring to the robbers not being armed and explaining their predicament at the end and Sandro holding hostages but attempting to work with them through their own personal dialogue apart from what everyone else was witnessing.