Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Fantastically brilliant. That is what I have to say about Manda Bala (Send a Bullet), Jason Kohn's documentary film entry at Sundance.

Even though I've now managed to see several films, this is the only one I felt compelled to write about sooner rather than later.

The documentary is about life in Brazil; the kidnappings, the rich-poor gap, the plastic surgery, the politics. And it's all held together with an examination of a frog farm's inner-workings, money laundering warts and all (sounds strange, but visually, it works).

With it's rich hues, flawless shots, compelling story-line, deft analogies, and thumping Brazilian music, Manda Bala has more in common with a summer blockbuster than your run-of the-mill PBS special, only with even more moments of gasp-out-loud, mouth-dropping incredulousness. I mean, good hell! People are getting their ears cut off.

When this thrilling, artistically executed, film is finished, you come away with an unforgettable overview of a very real, very violent Brazilian culture. Honestly, if every documentary film were like this, the genre would have more of an audience and more respect. As far as documentary films go, this is exactly the kind of work I dream of producing, the same type of piece I create in my mind's eye.

So afterward I talked to Mr. Jason Kohn (who is lovely, witty, and extremely approachable) and asked if I could be a part of his next project. He was very flattered. Amenable to the idea, and took my card.

But then he said, "My next project will be a feature. It won't be a documentary."

Oh, Jason. Why?

Sigh. I'd felt so close.

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