manda bala

Doc Soup Screens Award-Winning Manda Bala


A frog farmer, a famously corrupt politician, an ear surgeon, and a man who drives a bullet-proof car are just some of the wildly diverse and loosely connected subjects in the bold and visually arresting doc Manda Bala (Send a Bullet). Probing the endless scourge of violent kidnappings that are plaguing the streets of Saol Paulo, Brazil, Jason Kohn's debut film manages to manipulate the bleak subject matter just enough that it doesn't drown in ponderous misery. And the catchy, wall-to-wall Brazilian pop tunes also help.

Along with a subtle ironic tone, Kohn, a former protĂŠgĂŠ of Errol Morris, has appropriated -- effectively -- much of the same techniques to interviewing his subjects as that of his pioneering master. The often odd looks the interviewees give after an accidental slip of natural humour or unassuming witticisms is such a Morris touch by now that it's hard not to miss the influence.

Manda Bala won the Cinematography Award and Documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance last winter. It screens twice tonight at the Bloor (6:30 and 9:15 pm) as part of the November Doc Soup.

Photo: Manda Bala


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