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Tropa De Elite wins Berlin Golden Bear

BerlinGoldenBear.jpgSurprisingly the film from Brazil, Tropa De Elite (The Elite Squad), which has raised so much controversy has taken the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.

The controversial film that follows a squad of elite policemen in Brazil who fight armed gangs and drug dealers in the slums of the city has been getting really strong reviews. The film looks into their torn moralities and the corruption and violence within their team.

Apparently the critics were divided on the choice of the film as Reuters through Yahoo News tells us:

“Some reviews praised it as a powerful portrayal of the moral compromises police accept in order to survive and do their job, but others said it glorified their often brutal methods. One called it a 'recruitment film for fascist thugs.'”

The director of Tropa De Elite (The Elite Squad), José Padilha , spoke about the film and the controversial subject matter which has raised much concern in Brazil including a group of police trying to stop the film from being shown.

“Many journalists didn't seem to have understood the film. I was very concerned about that...But the bulk of the audience who saw it and the critics who talked to me directly seemed to have grasped the film...shows how the state turns the police into either corrupt police or police who don't want to do anything, or violent police.”

I'm quite surprised that the film took the top prize, although I am glad that it did. It beat Standard Operating Procedures from Errol Morris, the film that looks into the abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Other winners also include Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood which won the Silver Bear prize.

Iran's Reza Naji winning best actor for The Song of Sparrows, a film that shows how a normal man living an idyllic rural life who is tempted by the material offerings from the big city. No prizes for guessing the analogy there.

Best actress went to Britain's Sally Hawkins for Happy-Go-Lucky, the new film from Mike Leigh.



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