Bus 174

The 2002 film Bus 174 is a documentary that analyzed the events of the day that Sandro held up a bus of hostages, and the events that lead up to that day. Using people from Sandro’s life, it dug deep into the possible psychological reasons as to why he held the hostages for so long. Sometimes people wonder, how can anyone do that? In this case it seemed a bit more clear. Sandro watched his Mom get stabbed and bleed to death, at a young age of 5. Psychologically speaking our minds desire to forget these events, but we cannot do do that on our own. The term dissociative identity disorder kept coming to mind watching  him. In order for fully disconnect from that memory of his mom Sandro may have had to create another person, a stronger, more independent, and a person who defies death (thus why he kept repeating in the movie “I have nothing to lose”). This idea may be a stretch, but it’s the only way someone, especially a person who doesn’t live under the conditions these street kids do, can even start to understand why Sandro held up bus 174.

Sandro held up the bus, but he ‘t wasn’t asking for anything and he had never intended on harming anyone. He had made a living off of robbing others, he lead a life a crime. And along with the crime came the consequences. The consequences usually included experiencing very brutal conditions. The film made everything in Brazil look out of control. The government seemed corrupt, and the police seemed to be poorly trained. These conditions sort of collided for a no win situation on the day Sandro held up bus 174. Sandro seemed mad at the world. He felt like someone owed him something for all that he had been through and on this day he wanted the world to know what it felt like. Sandro wanted people to know that he was the victim. Mark Szuchman’s article The city as Vision – The Development of Urban Culture in Latin America, concludes that Latin America views there country in a “positive way”, whereas the British people do not. This seems to hold true even within the country. Sandro views  himself, and the street kids, in one way – whereas the people around him see Sandro, and the street kids, differently.

In Alberto Ramos’ article, The Drive-by Victim, he relives a time where he was robbed in a taxi. Although the victim was harmed physically, in his article he shares that he didn’t believe they were armed. Even being unarmed, the victim gave in so quickly to their threatening manner because they took control immediately.  The very last line in the article can sum up the problems in these parts of Brazil. After the robbers drop him off in the middle of no where Ramos’ states: “And I thought that we are so screwed in this country that the only option left to us in the end is thanking the thieves.”