Brazilian Challenge Day 56: Tropa de Elite 2

My husband has been wanting to rent Tropa de Elite 2, or Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, a movie about the drug industry in Rio and corrupt politics. I, on the other hand, am not into violent action movies. However, he somehow convinced me that watching this film would be a good addition to my daily efforts in becoming more Brazilian. And somehow I bought it.

Just like City of God, I only made it half-way through the movie. It’s not that it is a bad movie, it is a great movie, I’m certain, in this movie category. But here’s the thing. While the movie is not based on actual events, it certainly runs parallel to some of the antics that occur in Rio. And I just don’t want to know about this stuff. I’ve got too many other issues over which I have no control to be concerned about. The fact that our world will most likely run out of fresh water, my homeland circling around economic ruin, potential alien invasions… The other day, six young men went into a restaurant a few blocks from where I live and robbed everyone at gunpoint. I’ve got enough violence close to home to worry about. My worry tank is full. I cannot add the power of the drug lords and political corruption in the state of Rio to the pile I’m afraid. Not right now.

But I suppose knowing something about it via one hour of Tropa de Elite 2 does make me a bit more Brazilian.

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18 Responses to Brazilian Challenge Day 56: Tropa de Elite 2

  1. Those kind of movies aren’t for me, either. That’s icky about the armed robbery. 😦

    • It’s pretty disturbing. Only consolation is that it was at night and I wouldn’t be out with Sophia at that time. If it happens when I’m with my husband or friends, I’ll survive. But I would never want Sophia to experience something like that.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I completely understand where you are coming from. I live in Minas in a small town and things are relatively low key here. Thank goodness. But I went with the husband to see this in the theater. Not my smartest move. I left with the feeling of…oh my gosh. this is totally real. where am i living? how can i live in a country like this? I often get this feeling when I watch the tv show 24 too. *sigh* I’ve never been brave enough to watch city of god. i think its just better that way.

  3. Meredith says:

    I saw the first movie, but have yet to watch the sequel. I didn’t have a problem watching “City of God” or any other Brazilian movie….but that was when I was in the US. Maybe if I were to watch them here then I’d feel differently.

    And I like how your husband used your Brazilian Challenge to convince you. LOL Smart man.

  4. I have not seen the second Tropa de Elite movie; I did catch the first one. I found it to be well produced and brutally honest. It’s honesty found not only in portraying the violence but also in also pointing a finger to users as culprits who help finance those vicious drug gangs that terrorize and corrupt everything around them (including their own community if anyone falls out of line).
    It seems the second one focused on politicians involved in this mess. Great. These things need to be seen or else false perceptions may persist, like the one stating that the police are always at fault and users and dealers are, on some level, always victims.
    Remeber that even Al Capone was once romanticized as the poor discriminated Italian-American who was just providing people what they wanted and would have made a living via polite means if only given a fair chanve by society. The truth is that he was just a delinquent.

    • It true. It is critical that these messages get out. And I’m grateful for the people that go out and make efforts to change things. I’m just no longer at that point in my life where I am able to do that, due to having a small child, but maybe someday. So it just results in stress.

  5. Ray says:

    B.A.B.,

    I hear you, it is a violent movie and they used a heck of a lot of violence to increase drama and ratings. I am sure most people in Rio who live less than a mile from all the drug wars that go on or used to go on inside the slums of Rio never saw or experienced any of the violence shown in the movie.
    The good thing is that this movie is actually about a special group of “Elite” police officers who are highly trained and super well paid and never fall into corruption bribes and they are the new HEROES for Brazilians, they are the ultimate clean and un-corrupted cops. Think “Seals”.
    These cops have better equipment and kick the bad guy’s butts.
    At the end of “Tropa de Elite 2” the clean cop goes on Rio’s state assembly of Congressman and denounces the dirty corrupted Governor and politicians involved with corruption and the drug lords.
    Despite all the nonsense violence throught the movie, there is a strong message of hope for Brazilians that corruption can and will be fought and defeated. 🙂

    Ray

  6. Alex says:

    I didn’t see the second but saw the first one. I thought it was better than Cidade de Deus, because that one I thought was just ridiculously violent, although these movies had their share also. They are much more realistic than Cidade de Deus though.

    Is the arrastao thing that happened at the restaurant a normal thing? Good thing nobody got hurt!

    • Unfortunately, yes. It happened to a co-worker of my husbands at another restaurant. There have been incidents in which robbers have blockaded a condo or a building and robbed everyone. Scary stuff.

    • Ray says:

      Alex,

      Arrastoes happen some times, I would say it is rare, because I never even saw one, my brother is in Rio all the time and never saw it either, my aunt lives in Barra and never saw it either. This is the kind of thing we usually hear about it on TV and people like to make it sound 10 times worse than what it really is…and Brazilians are drama queens by nature and just add gasoline to the gossip fire…:)

  7. anna says:

    i liked tropa de elite 1 and 2 more than I liked cidade de Deus.
    yes , it is scary and violent but it’s a decent movie.

  8. Stephanie says:

    I don’t have an easy time watching violent movies and seeing part of Tropa 1 was enough for me to know it’s not for me. This was several years ago, my brother was here visiting me and even he didn’t want to keep watching, it was DEMAIS. Too much. There are many other good Brasilian films that aren’t violent, but yet still capture a sense of real life without focusing so much on hardcore violence and murder. We read the newspaper each day, it clearly exists, but I don’t want to watch it played out. CNN is too much for me sometimes.

  9. nina says:

    I am pretty sure that the movie is based on a book, which is based on true events (at the first movie was).

    I know how you feel about the stress of this WORLD adding up. a child of two hearts, is so amazing and wonderful. But at the same time really stressful confusing and often too much. We have to think about double the problems. We have one eye on the US and one on Brazil.

    Violence here in the urban cities are pretty insane here. It’s in relation to the culture. Like in the US we are so much more violent than canadians.

    It’s strange the extreme violence in films about drugs in Brazil. Everything, I do mean everything else you see within media has zero violence. I see nudity all the time and I have seen soft porn on public stations late at night. But no violence.

    I liked the second film better than the first. It was based on a reality that is happening in Brazil, norms of prisons and the mafia type control that spreads over most spaces here. In reality, the movie is really good because it shows how interconnected everything is and that really the people are required step in. The commander publicly comes forward and talks openly about what’s going on. I think this is number one in Brazil, we need to have public discussion on the corruption. I think it’s an important film for the young generations, TV has a lot of influence here.

    Really, the violence is less than the first. And ROTA, which is the Sao Paulo version– is super worse as far as the level of violence. And contains many images of violence against women. Sadly it what sells on the international market. So that is part of the problem.

  10. scrubgrub says:

    I think I could sit through this one better than City of God. My hubby tricked me into that pre-Brazil, and it just puts a horribly sad taste in your mouth. But I am not into the violent films, so my baba and husband can watch it when he finally gets around to PPVing it. ha

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