Police Killing

Auto de Resistência

DIRECTOR(S): Natasha Neri, Lula Carvalho   COUNTRY: Brazil   YEAR: 2018   LANGUAGES: Portuguese   SUBTITLES: English   RUNNING TIME: 105 min

SECTION: International Forum 2019


Monday, 07.10., 5.45 pm, Caritas-Pirckheimer-Haus, Q&A with Natasha Neri


POLICE KILLING is a documentary about homicides committed by on duty police officers in Rio de Janeiro, in situations initially considered as legitimate self-defense. The dead person is accused of being a drug dealer and having fired against the police. However, the officers’ account is confronted by the emergence of videos and the fight of mothers who try to prove their sons were innocent. The film portrays the clash of versions in court hearings, the backstage of police investigations and the State Parliamentary Inquiry Committee established to investigate the high rates of homicides during police operations.

“Opening with footage of a public prosecutor’s reconstruction of the killing of five young men – aged between 16 and 21– in Rio’s poor Costa Barros favela in November 2015, POLICE KILLING is structured like a lawyer’s brief; patiently piecing together the stories of a handful of horrific incidents among the 16,000 deaths caused by police actions in Rio over the past two decades.

Searing images from police bodycam and dashcam footage, mobile phone videos from witnesses and other sources, put viewers in the middle of fatal encounters, where the police shoot first and ask questions later – or make crude jokes about the limp and bloodied bodies of their victims. The film is structured around the few cases that come to court, a public enquiry where police chiefs and politicians glibly dismiss the dead as low-life scum, and the public protestations of victims’ relatives.

It strives to give both sides of the story while being clear that its aim is to expose the injustices of a system that couldn’t care less about the lives of poor, black kids scraping a living in the favelas.” (Nick Holdsworth, moderntimes.review)


Natasha Neri is a journalist, with masters in Anthropology, and researcher in the field of Criminal Justice and Human Rights. She has been studying the theme of Police Killings for over a decade and is the co-author of the book “When Police Kills: Resistance Followed by Death in Rio de Janeiro (2001-2011)”, Booklink, Rio de Janeiro.

Police Killing (2018)


Lula Carvalho is a member of the American Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and the Brazilian Association of Cinematography (ABC). He has worked as a cinematographer in over 30 features, including 7 Days in Entebbe, Robocop, Elite Squad and NetFlix series Narcos and The Mechanism.
He has won over 20 prizes for best cinematography, including this year’s ABC prize, for the feature Bingo – O Rei das Manhãs.


Atrocidades Maravilhosas (2001), Police Killing (2018)

SCRIPT: Natasha Neri, Juliana Farias   PRODUCERS: Bruno Arthur, Lia Gandelman   CAMERA: Lula Carvalho, Pedro Von Krüger   EDITOR: Marilia Moraes   MUSIC: Alberto Continentino

PRODUCTION: Lia Gandelman, Com Domínio Filmes, Kinofilmes   WORLD SALES: ArtHouse BR