Tuesday, October 21st: Police Practices and the Criminal World

6pm: The Elite Squad (Tropa de Elite), directed byJosé Padilha (2008) – Brazil – Action, thriller – 115 minutes.


Summary: In 1997, before the visit of the pope to Rio de Janeiro, Captain Nascimento from BOPE (Special Police Operation Battalion) is assigned to eliminate the risks of the drug dealers in a dangerous slum nearby where the pope intends to be lodged. Captain Nascimento is trying to find a man to replace him because his wife is pregnant and he intends to quit the command and become a trainer of the new recruits. Meanwhile, the two idealistic friends Neto and Matias join the Military Police force expecting to become honest policemen and fight the criminals. However, they see only corruption, lack of competence and stupid bureaucracy in the Military Police, and after a serious incident in the Morro da Babilônia, they decide to join the BOPE. The lives of Capitain Nascimento, Neto and Matias are entwined along the next months, first in the tough training period and then in action against drug dealers. Nascimento believes that Neto could be his substitute, but his impulsive attitudes jeopardizes his choice. Later, the intelligent Matias seems to be the correct choice, but he needs to prove that he has heart. (IMDb)



8.30pm: Ugly directed by Anurag Kashyap (2013) – India – Thriller – 126 minutes.


The film portrays the kidnapping of a little girl of 10 who is out with her father for the day. Her parents are divorced and the ex-wife, literally cloistered by her new husband, a power-hungry super cop is increasingly dependent on a cocktail of alcohol and anti-depressants. It turns out that the child’s father, an out-of-work actor, his ex-wife and her new husband were all at college together and their lives criss-cross with betrayals and doublespeak, lies and viciousness as the hunt for the kidnapped child continues. It’s a terrible tale of corruption, indifference, and systemic violence, shot full of a wicked, black humour. (thehindu.com)

Film followed by a debate moderated by Nicolas Bautès and Jean Rivelois.

With Angelina Peralva (Professor of Sociology at the Université Toulouse II – Le Mirail) and Laurent Gayer (Research Fellow at the CNRS – Laboratoire CERI).

Proceedings of the evening available here (in French)

Complete transcript of the debates available here (in French)