BUS 174 PART 2 OF 6
I was running on a gym when the BUS 174 hijack episode took place. The television started to show live images of a bus surrounded by cops. Since the hijack was taking place in a street next to were I lived I could not head back home, I stayed and watched the whole event on the TV. It was as if the city had stopped: everyone was glued to a TV set, wanting to find out how the hijack would end. (The BUS 174 news broadcast scored the highest television rate of the year in Brazil.) The Rio de Janeiro population is very critical on its regular police, but used to thrust the local Swat team.
So everyone had mixed feelings about how it would end, except for one thing: no one cared about the drugged hijacker, as Sandro was characterized by the news broadcast. Then, after it was all over, the press made an immense coverage of the event, and BUS 174 became, together with the Candelária street kid massacre, an event that symbolizes Rio de Janeiro's violence.
Amazingly enough, one of the things the press found out was that Sandro, the perpetrator of BUS 174, was one of the street kids who had survived the Candelária massacre. A single person had lived through the two of the most tragic stories of urban violence in Brazil! That caught my attention, so I decided to check the raw footage the TV networks had recorded. It took me a couple of weeks and a lot of talk to convince them to show it to me, but when I finally managed it was well worth it: together they had more than 24 hours of footage of a hijack that lasted for only 5 hours! I realized then that BUS 174 was possibly the most well documented hijack on the story of world television broadcast! That was in February 2001.
A month latter I managed to get VHS copies of all the footage the TV had made by telling them I was researching the event, and from that day I spent 18 months trying to reconstruct Sandro's life, while simultaneously shooting and editing the film.