Jason Kohn‘s "Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)" explores poverty, kidnapping, corruption and frogs eating each other in Brazil, and it picked up the Grand Jury and Cinematography prizes at Sundance earlier this year. Andrew O’Hehir at Salon calls the film "gorgeous and terrifying film" if also confusing: "Not merely does it give you a vertiginous overview of the colorful, divided, violent and intensely fucked-up nature of Brazilian society; it tries to reinvent documentary technique as it does so." David Edelstein at New York deems the film "gripping"; Scott Foundas, over at Variety, notes the its debt to Errol Morris (Kohn once worked as a research assistant to Morris) and writes that "’Manda Bala’ emerges as that rare film about the
developing world that does not rub our privileged first-world noses in
poverty and famine, but rather merely abides by that sage journalistic
advice: ‘Follow the money.’"
Ed Gonzalez at Slant sums the film up as "a purposefully abstruse and ultimately shallow non-discourse on a country’s corruption and class warfare," while Michelle Orange at the Village Voice notes the "excess of excitable style, samba music, and heady, montage-driven metaphor that threatens to bury [the] film’s key ideas," as well as "Kohn’s almost gleeful insistence on sensational imagery." And at the New York Times, Stephen Holden, not fond, writes that "Manda Bala" is "a weird hybrid of political exposÃ© and sensationalistic fluff," one that is "packed with bad news that isnâ€™t nearly as fresh as the movie pretends."