Manda Bala (Send a Bullet), directed and produced by Jason Kohn, is a richly painted, riveting documentary weaving together threads of political corruption and disparity of wealth distribution in Brazil, frog farms, kidnappings in Sao Paulo, reconstructive ear surgery, and the growth of the personal security business in Brazil. If all this sounds like a lot to meld together into one coherent tale, it is, but Kohn proves himself more than up to the task. Cinematical spoke to Kohn by phone recently about Manda Bala, which has received numerous awards on the fest circuit over the past year, and recently won three awards at the inaugural Cinema Eye Awards.
Cinematical: I read that at the Cinema Eye Awards, in your acceptance speech you talked about this film being made out of anger; can you talk a bit more about that?
Jason Kohn: Really that came out of my sense of frustration at the state of contemporary documentary films, at least at the time when I started making the film. There was a lot of talk going on about the democratization of docs, how it's cheaper to make them with new technologies, and I thought that was mostly bullshit. This idea that people on the marginalized fringes of society now have access to these technologies – it's just not true.