Bus 174 (2002): Yell Magazine’s Greatest Film Series

Yell! Review:

This documentary directed by José Padilha and Felipe Lacerda tells of a street kid (by this time a young adult) who enters a city bus to rob the passengers and becomes a hostage-taker when police arrive on the scene. Padilha has an agenda (as all great social documentaries do), which reveals itself through the film.

In between live shots of the bus and Sandro do Nascimento’s (the hostage taker) erratic behavior, Padilha tells the history of this particular street kid. He expands it to include all street kids and their lives in and out of jail in Rio de Janeiro. He heightens the desperation as he shows that Sandro does not want to kill anyone (he just wants the money) and the actions that led to the murder of a hostage and the supreme incompetence of the Rio police force.

As Sandro was killed by police after the situation was over (in the back of the paddy wagon no less), the film shows the extreme powers the police have and their lack of control in using it. When the police and the jails are brutal, the creation of a brutal criminal is not far behind. This film shows that in full-force.

Bus 174 Gallery:

Bus 174
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Year Released:
6 December 2002
José Padilha, Felipe Lacerda
Captain Batista, Maria Aparecida, Claudete Beltrana, Luciana Carvalho
Documentary, Crime
Official URL:

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