Since Antonioni used fantastic realism to capture a particular theme or emotion evident in the film, the only aspect lacking in his movies was the vital connection between the common viewer and the featured film. Time passed and films with explosive technology or haunting special effects became increasingly popular.
In 1994, novice director Wes Anderson came out with his idiosyncratic debut picture, Bottle Rocket. The film was not exceptional, but what was truly special about the movie was the mobilization and creation of a new genre of film.
Anderson set the mark for the Indie fanatics, which was a far cry from the typical romance or action thriller.
From there a subspecies was created: the Indie Documentarist.
The 2007 Sundance Film Festival brought indie documentary newcomer Jason Kohn into light. Jason Kohn graduated from Brandeis University and is a friend of Newton South history teacher Jamie Rinaldi.
Recently Kohn’s feature debut Manda Bala, a documentary on the relationship between violence and political corruption in Brazil, has been the hot topic among critics and Indie audiences. The film portrays the “tragic domino effect that has reshaped the face of Brazil and created an entire industry built on corruption, according to Sundance.
Kohn describes in an interview with online independent film source, IndieWire, that the “initial idea was simply a story about how the rich steal from the poor and how the poor steal back from the rich¦ It’s pretty obvious to anyone who travels to Brazil¦ that there is no single factor more responsible for developmental problems than a gross concentration of wealth¦ [Kidnapping and corruption] seemed to me the clearest way to get to the heart of this issue.
Manda Bala explores Brazil though the lens of many different stories including that of a frog farm at the center of a $2 billion political corruption scandal, and a plastic surgeon who reconstructs the ears of mutilated kidnapping victims.
The name, “Manda Bala, means “Send a Bullet, so with Kohn’s film he is sending a bullet of truth and exploitation through the hearts of the viewers. Although Kohn did not attend film school, he studied film theory in college as well as history.
Kohn became a filmmaker for his admiration for the Brazilian culture rather than the pursuit of an award-winning career. During the shooting process, however, Kohn acquired more knowledge “¦about production and directing than most were taught in school, he said to IndieWire.
Though Kohn has not achieved mainstream recognition for his work, he created a film that truly connects with viewers. With his unassuming style and limited budget, Kohn relied on intuition to fulfill his dreams of speaking out about the corruption and deceit in Brazilian society.