Archive of films Bus 174 / Onibus 174

2002, 122 min

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Year: 2003

A devastating reconstruction of a bus hijacking in Rio, told in part through a vivid portrait of the life of hijacker Sandro who resorting to violent means on that June afternoon in 2000, he tried to draw public attention to his plight and that of dozens of other adolescents living on the streets of the Brazilian capital.


On 12 June 2000, in the early afternoon, twenty-year-old Sandro hijacked a local bus in Rio de Janeiro. The young hijacker, in a violent and somewhat chaotic manner, tried to draw public attention to his plight and that of dozens of other adolescents living on the streets of the indifferent Brazilian metropolis. The frenetic, hours-long situation was captured by television cameras which, together with hundreds of curious onlookers, managed to get within a few feet of the stationary bus. This thorough, two-hour reconstruction of events used the incident as a jump lead to point out not only the deprived existence of Brazil’s street kids (reflected in greater detail in the parallel story of the hijacker’s short life) but also the appalling conditions of the city’s prison system. Presented with this devastating image of impending tragedy, we also become increasingly aware that what we are watching on screen is not simulated reality but a documentary revival of a shocking event.

About the director

José Padilha (b. 1967, Rio de Janeiro) wrote the script and produced the film The Charcoal People by Oscar-winning documentarist Nigel Noble. Together with Marcos Prada he shared in the production and direction of two television documentaries for National Geographic Television: Pantanal Cowboys and Facing the Jaguar. Padilha’s feature debut Bus 174 won the Audience Prize for Best Documentary Film and an award for Best Brazilian Feature Film at the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival. He also won the Critics’ Prize at the São Paulo festival and an innovation award at the first International Documentary Film Festival in Chicago.  


Zazen Producoes
Praca Pio XI 6, Sala 102, 22461-080, Rio de Janeiro
Tel: +55 21 253 554 07
Fax: +55 21 253 965 43

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Director: José Padilha
Dir. of Photography: Cesar Moraes, Marcelo Guru
Music: Joao Nabuco, Sasha Ambak
Editor: Felipe Lacerda
Producer: José Padilha, Marcos Prado
Production: Zazen Producoes
Contact: Zazen Producoes


José Padilha

Film Director


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