Last Stop 174 (2008): Bruno Barreto’s Dramatization of Brazillian Crime Story

Bruno Barreto directed Last Stop 174, a crime thriller of factual events,  written by Braulio Mantovani,

The film was Brazil’s entry for the 2008 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

The film describes a fictionalized account of the life of Sandro Rosa do Nascimento, a street kid in Rio de Janeiro who survived the Candelária massacre. In 2000 she hijacked Bus 174 in Jardim Botânico, a violent hijacking that has vividly stuck with Brazilians.

The film opens with a woman giving her child (Alessandro) up at gunpoint to a man collecting debts. Finding religion as means of salvation, she marries a pastor, hoping that God will help her find Sandro.

However, the Sandro she finds is not her son–it is another boy (Sandro do Nascimento), whose mother was murdered. He moved to Rio, where lived near the Candelária Church, and survived the Candelária massacre in 1993.

The film shows Sandro’s run-ins with the law, his romantic life, and the charity workers who tried to help him. Despite knowing that the religious woman is not his mother, Sandro goes along with it anyway to have a place to live.

The film’s last reel dramatizes the hijacking of Bus 174, showing such events as the feigned killing of the woman who wrote the lipstick messages, the death of young teacher on the bus, and the eventual death by asphyxiation of Sandro.

In the end, Sandro’s adoptive mother and his friend Alê attend his funeral.

Paying attention to facts, the film was shot in downtown Rio de Janeiro, on such locations as the Candelária Church, the neighborhood of the Jardim Botânico, Tavares Bastos’ favela and Curicica.