A van grinds to a halt on wasteland in Rio de Janeiro. Masked gunmen drag a handful of teenagers from the vehicle, stand them against a wall and shoot them. It’s a gruesome scene repeated every day in cities throughout Brazil. In Rio alone, over 500 street children are assassinated every year. Their crime? They are poor and have nowhere else to go. The plight of street children is not a new one. It results from the same pressures, argues Octavio Bezerra in his compelling docu-drama, that have led to widespread exploitation of the Amazon rainforest. Ultimately, they derive from Brazil’s massive external debt and the raft of problems it generates: impoverishment and environmental degradation, cut-backs in health and education, rampant inflation, family breakdown, soaring crime and endemic corruption.
Films in this series