This stunning shockumentary is a visceral immersion in contemporary Brazilian street life, connecting the unlikely dots between black-market frog farming, plastic surgery and kidnapping in São Paulo.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2007
It’s a “frog-eat-frog world” in Jason Kohn’s stunning shockumentary Manda Bala (Send a Bullet), a visceral immersion into contemporary Brazilian street life that connects the unlikely dots between a black market frog farm, plastic surgery, bullet-proof cars and São Paulo’s booming kidnapping industry. Gradually, the disparate pieces come together to illuminate political corruption on a massive scale.
“São Paulo is viewed from the sky, streets and slums as a megalopolis of finite possibilities and virtually infinite lawlessness. Kohn’s interviews with the money-laundering frog farmer yield to an interview with a former kidnapping victim whose captors sent her severed ear as a ransom demand; that pair gives way to a bulletproof car entrepreneur and an actual, ski-masked kidnapper himself. With subjects like these Kohn’s film lives in the extremes while somehow taking refuge in the commonplace. It’s fascinating, unsettling viewing, with… symmetrical, offbeat interview set-ups recalling Kohn’s mentor Errol Morris.” — S.T. Van Airsdale, The Reeler