SIFF 2008 Diary: Day 1 (continued)

Off to my first SIFF film. Gas is now $4.05 a gallon. I take the worthless Monorail to the Seattle Center to see the Space Needle beautifully lit up at dusk, and discover the whole Seattle Center is overrun with hippies at some Memorial Day Folk music fest. Hippie music can be heard everywhere. I get slightly distracted, start walking in the wrong direction, but then quickly find my way again. I stand in the line wrapped around Uptown Cinema, wishing I had bought a burger from Dick’s before crossing the street.

Welcome back, SIFF.

——Elite Squad (2007)——

This Brazilian movie is a little like City of God from the cops’ perspective. A captain from the BOPE, ie the Elite Squad of the Brazilian police, is about to have a kid and is having anxiety attacks from the stress of his job. His job is to find his replacement so he can retire. We then follow the stories of two rookies, one quick to action who doesn’t think and one who thinks too much and wants to be a lawyer. In voice over we learn how corrupt the Brazilian police is, how ill-equipped they are to deal with the drug dealers in the favalas, and how bad cops really just keep the cycle going. BOPE gets the job done, but as we discover, the cost of doing their job isn’t much better.

Well made, if not mind blowing if you already know what goes on in the Brazilian favalas (which are pretty much one of the most active war zones on the planet and whose police are the most highly trained military police on the planet) it’s still worth checking out.


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