Elite Squad (Tropa D'Elite)
This article is from 2008.
(José Padilha, Brazil) 118min
Based on Luiz Eduardo Soares’ bestseller, Elite Squad is a favela thriller from the director of 2002 documentary Bus 174. It’s 1997 in Rio de Janeiro, months before a visit from Pope John Paul II. The rundown housing schemes of the city are mired in drugs, violence and police corruption. It’s time for the city’s Elite Police Squad to step up their game. Meanwhile Captain Nascimento (Wagner Moura) is having a hard time finding a successor as unimpeachable as he is.
Told with maturity and intelligence, this immensely violent, full throttle policier attempts to lay bare the extraordinary machinations of the BOPE, Brazil’s controversial military police whose speciality is urban warfare with armed drug dealers. As such, the film is undeniably reactionary (and to a certain extent propagandistic) but powerful, unrelenting and unforgettable.
Cineworld, Wed 25 Jun, 8.15pm; Fri 27 Jun, 9.45pm, £8 (£6.40).