Category: Prejudice - Brazilian News


The main character of Elite Squad 1 and 2 is judged by a Brazilian and a foreigner’s report

by Bernardo Taborda, Jonathan Silva
and Otávio Barradas

In “Elite Squad 2: now we have another enemy”, Captain Nascimento gradually renounces his old methods and joins calls for a more law-abiding approach towards tackling crime.

Most Brazilians have this idea on how people from other countries see ours: parties, beaches, criminality and monkeys. So, it is easy to realize what kind of movie is most known outside our country: since we do not have too many movies about parties, beaches and monkeys, we are known for our crime movies. But let us think before starting to get angry with the image they have about us: it is our fault.

In December 2010, a report was published in the BBC’s webpage about Elite Squad 2, a Brazilian movie. Why that choice? Because the film has been seen by more than 11 million cinema-goers. These cinema-goers are our people, Brazilians, who make the success of the movie and, consequently, make its success outside Brazil. The BBC’s article shows us a special point of view about Captain Nascimento in the first movie of the series, “a police officer with a self-righteous approach to crime-fighting”, who “had no qualms about torturing and murdering drug traffickers in his struggle against organized crime in the favelas”. So, after the explanation about the character, the report says that this man became a role model for us, Brazilians, and it is true. However, in the second film, “Elite Squad 2: now we have another enemy”, the character changes and “gradually renounces his old methods and joins calls for a more law-abiding approach towards tackling crime”.

The same point of view is seen in a Brazilian article from the website UOL. According to the report, now Captain Nascimento “is no longer the violent and full of convictions policeman (such as his idea that the middle class’ drug users are guilty of the civil war in Brazilian major cities) and becomes an observer of the country’s society (which he calls, appropriately so generic, “the System”)”.

Then, if someone expected to see a prejudiced point of view about Elite Squad, linking the plot with Brazil’s reality, they might have been surprised. What we see is an article which analyzes the movie and just the movie. Moreover, the BBC’s report acknowledges the film’s greatness without criticizing our country. Brazil is more than criminality, and we also make great movies, whether they are about crime or not.