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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Corruption > Kidnapping > Robbery > Brazil > Manda Bala (2007/City Lights/WEA)

Manda Bala (2007/City Lights/WEA)


Picture: C†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C+†††† Documentary: C+



Imagine a story of corruption involving frog farms, a program that was supposed to help people being robbed of $2 Billion, kidnapping, bodily mutilation and reproductive surgery and you have Jason Kohnís Manda Bala (2007) covering the deepest corruption in Brazil, including K&R, kidnapping and ransom.It is a serious story with nightmarish implications, one that needs to be told.


Though we get that story, too much of the 85 minutes is spent focusing on too much frog footage and more graphic footage of reconstructive ear surgery than is needed to tell the story, while good footage in the extras should have stayed in.The result is a documentary that looses too much of its punch at the expense of also losing serious political points.This has happened with such documentaries before, but is always unfortunate and annoying.It is worth a look, but expect comic moments intended and not.


The framing of the image is one of the oddest we have ever seen on DVD, anamorphically enhanced at 2.35 X 1 and softer than a new production should be.However, it is in the upper half of the screen in something we have only seen before when George Lucas tried this with letterboxed editions of Return Of The Jedi.It can be disorienting, but is passable at best and the expanded black bar at the bottom is used for subtitles.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is better, though the audio is not perfect.Extras include those noted deleted scenes and an audio commentary by Kohn and his producers.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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