Tropa de Elite

Bait and switch. Starts off as a nihilist critique of Brazilian society before going off the rails into full blow fascism. Remarkable in every other way though, a true Triumph of the Will.

It’s so ironic that the main character just wants out of the very jackbooted squad that he claims is the shining beacon of light among corruption and drug trafficking. And all because a kid he released to his death, after being a father himself. He visits the shrink but never says a word, probably because of his split personality.

He is a somewhat unbalanced human being without the uniform, but after dressing up as BatCop, the paramilitary Einsatzgruppen, he just follows orders.

After railing about corruption in the system from the highest echelons (political heavyweights like Senators, Representatives and Police Chiefs are reportedly directly involved), somehow the BOPE (an integral part of the same system) is a land of M16 and H&K, an oasis of serious people. In fact, the main plot notes that even the BOPE is jerked around for political purposes (this is further explored in the sequel).

In the latest scenes all pretenses are dropped. The Chinese wall between human Nascimento and the BatCop falls away and he treats his wife like 02. She immediately leaves, mooting the whole reason for our main character training the replacement. An identity mixup leads to the top BOPE trainee being slaughtered, leading to an revenge operation, strange for a group that sells themselves as cold strategists. There are still human being in BOPE, opposed to torture and spurious scare tactics that turn the population against them, but those are swatted away.

After torturing many people, mostly people guilty by association, he finally meets the big druglord. The guy is disarmed, and our main character reignites the circle of conflict by having his trainee (and future captain) murder the lowlife in cold blood, using a 12 gauge at close range for maximum wickedness. Talk about police corruption…

As Marcelo D2 says, Brazil has no death penalty, only the murderous will of Capitão Nascimento.


This is my place for ramblings about sequences of images that exploit the human visual limitation know as persistence of vision.

Ephemera of Vision