Screened as part of NZIFF 2003

Bus 174 2002

Ônibus 174

Directed by José Padilha

Brazil In Portuguese with English subtitles
120 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay


Cesar Moraes
Marcelo Guru


Felipe Lacerda


João Nabuco
Sasha Ambak


Sundance, Rotterdam, New Directors/New Films, San Francisco, Sydney 2003


“‘This ain’t no action movie,’ warns the hijacker of the titular coach in José Padilha’s riveting documentary. Or maybe it is. Holding a half-dozen hostages and untold Brazilian TV viewers captive for nearly five hours in the summer of 2000, the villain sprinkles his menacing dialogue with references to a popular blockbuster while banking on the standards and practices of prime time to prolong his performance. Padilha, for his part, extracts the maximum drama from extraordinary video footage of hell in the City of God. Yet Bus 174 is most remarkable for doing what TV news and action films do not: delivering the details as part of a larger investigation of how terror is bred by neglect.” — Rob Nelson, Village Voice 

“The filmmakers uncover a history of trauma and tragedy so acute that their archival documentary quickly develops a dimension of fictional drama, as though the news had been written by an accomplished classical playwright with a feel for doomed destiny.” — B. Ruby Rich, San Francisco Bay Guardian