The Other Side of Brazil's World Cup

2014, Sports  -   39 Comments
Ratings: 8.06/10 from 93 users.

In 2007, FIFA chose Brazil to host the World Cup. It seemed like brilliant idea hosting the World Cup in the most football-fanatic country on the planet. Little did they expect that it would become the focus of some of the largest protests Brazil has seen in decades. This mass civil uprising began in June of 2013 and it surprised even the most jaded Brazilians.

Hundreds of thousands of people paralyzed the cities across the country over a 20 cent increase in bus fares. The police response was brutal in the beginning. Elite military-police units trained to pacify real slums were brought to quell demonstrations. But the police violence drove more people into the streets. For the first time anyone can recall the people began to lose the fear of the police.

The protests have been remarkable for another reason. The public outrage bridged the wide class differences in Brazil. Rio's college-educated kids are fighting side by side with the protesters from the favela who are very familiar with the brutality of the police force. Thanks to the World's Cup they now have a common enemy - FIFA, the world governing body of football and the capitalism that it represents.

In exchange for hosting the World Cup, FIFA demanded upgrades to Brazil's infrastructure and internal security that's ballooned into the most expensive in football history - some 15 billion dollars. The government insists that all of this spending is worth it, but the past year has shown that the population is fed up. This outrage can only be contained through a massive mobilization of troops. 170,000 military and police are being deployed to secure the games.

New laws have granted the military and police special powers to arrest demonstrators. In a country emerging from decades of military dictatorship FIFA and the World Cup have given the police and armed forces a new reason to flex their muscles. This is not about football anymore.

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39 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Gregory Hays

    FIFA corrupt? Nah. Only if you've been living in a cave for the past fifty years would you not know that.

  2. Morthund

    Man, that guy is so cool that he needs to wear a wooly hat in the summer.
    I'm gonna to go one step beyond and wear ski-gloves at the beach.

  3. Richard Neva

    Way too bad Chavez is not alive. This would never have happened. Chavez was a savior!

  4. UnderSiege

    Nothing new here. All events... political, social, or moral revert back to a singular problem...O-V-E-R-P-O-P-U-L-A-T-I-O-N.
    Ignorance and superstition are part of an equation which presents insuperable obstacles to an earthly paradise with social and economic justice to for all.
    The World Cup is merely a historical replication of Roman "bread and circus", making the rich wealthier at the expense of the poor.
    Nothing changes, and the 'Four Horsemen' ride on inexorably, until finally, all are trampled by their onslaught.

  5. techlilinu

    Is America headed in the same direction?

  6. techlilinu

    What language are they speaking?

    1. Pepe Alvarado


  7. James

    What a crap country. Has to be Whitey's fault somehow.
    Corruption = check
    Ignorance = check
    Ugliness = Check
    Poverty and Injustice = check
    The same as every other Black or Brown country in the world = Check

    Far left marxists don't understand tragi-comic irony too well, so this is certainly lost on them. But I, for one, will be enjoying the decline. ;)

  8. Benj

    I think the local documentary maker actually misrepresented his side and diluted the power of the narrative. He makes it sound like that the rallies are just because of the disenfranchisement of people on the basis of prohibitive prices on tickets. WTF.

  9. explorerguy

    It is sad to see the degeneration and corruption that took hold of my country after the military regime was deposed. I grew up under the military regime. Granted 60's were a different area..nonetheless, there was order and progress (Brazilian flag motto). THere was a seriousness to things, that is long been replaced with unprecedented cynicism on one side, and hopelessness on the other. The Regime was deposed so that 'economic growth' would take off. Growth for an elite of 430.000 families who wanted the criminal economic emancipation for a wealth that can only be acquired at the cost of work slavery and maintenance of a depressed social class of over 405 of the country. Brazil is the biggest farce on the globe. The public school system is a failure, a shame, a fiasco. Public universities are not as bad but compared to other countries way behind. Public hospitals and public school are for the big poor populace. Its depressing to see the salaries of the teachers in public school. A whole parallel commerce have emerged of private services, schools and hospitals. If you and wife have a job you never give it a thought sending your son to public school..its something you dont' dare doing. The military imposed seriousness and repressed both the most aberrant corruption as well as communism . Now communism is unpalatable. THe corruption of Brazil is deep and engrained in all the fabric of power wherever power is. It is a culture of favoritism, scratch my back I will scratch yours practice that is ubiquitous. The police is also divided, I can't say much more than this.
    Fundamentaly, justice here has become a puppet in the hands of corporations and while collar millionaire thieves who for $50.00 can hire a joe blow to kill someone and never be called into question. The middle class, the other 40% doesn't want any involvement in anything..doesn't believe anything can be done, but its not hurting to the point of joining and protest. Brazil has fallen back in the hands of cruel 'senhores de engenho' whose 'tronco' now display daily the slavery of millions whose lives are being scrificed in the altar of impunity now parading as an international power while the violence, cruelty, corruption rules from the senate down. UNlike Rome, tho, they will not allow any other kind of animal in the senate.

  10. cstack

    Reading the asinine comments here isn't it clear we will never over come ignorance . when you are too dumb to shut up and think there should be a self destruct gland somewhere in the head .

  11. bringmeredwine

    Can anyone tell me if this doc is worth watching?
    I already watched one here about Brazil and the World Cup fairly recently.

  12. henrymart81

    Of course the prices are high and of course the poor can't go. These people need to learn the basic premise of supply and demand. Just because you want something doesn't mean you're entitled to have it.

    1. Jamie Ray Donald Kutaj

      We don't need to live in a world where supply and demand overrides our ethics, do we?

    2. zee788

      There's no such thing as 'ethics'. This is just a cultural construct w/ no basis in reality.

    3. Jamie Ray Donald Kutaj

      What do you mean by 'they have no basis in reality'?

    4. zee788

      Meaning no action in the world actually fits the definition of 'good' or 'bad.' Nothing is actually 'right' or 'wrong.'

    5. David Faubion

      Conceiving the question--Right or wrong?--implies the reality of ethics;
      conceiving answers to the question explains the reality of ethics. Do we buy into the modern and post-modern gambler's mentality of capitalism since Rome? No doubt, the ability (if you can call it that) to brainwash morality out of you conscious mind is dicey. The potential for blow-back is a dangerous game of violence.

    6. zee788

      I understand the potential for blowback, but that has nothing to do with whether ethics is real.
      I can conceive of another question 'Catness or dogness?' as attributes of actions, meaning, does an action have the attribute of being 'like a cat' or 'like a dog'. Of course, because I can come up with this question does not mean I understand what it means for something to have catlike qualities or doglike qualities nor does it mean these attributes actually exist. Same for the question of 'right or wrong'.

    7. Pepe Alvarado

      Catness or dogness is not really a good example to compare to right or wrong. Sure, right or wrong is a matter of perspective, but they're exact opposites, and can be best explained in the field of feeling... Something can feel good or bad. It's positive negative, black white, feeling up feeling down........ On the other hand, your example is using two members of a huge group, and are in no way opposites. Instead of using black/white (opposites) you are using brown/pink

    8. zee788

      Whether they are opposites is not important to the discussion. Whether we understand what such words actually mean and if we have a method of determining which actions have those qualities is.

    9. Guest

      I understand the potential for blowback, but that has nothing to do with whether ethics is real.
      can conceive of another question 'Catness or dogness?' as attributes of
      actions, meaning, does an action have the attribute of being 'like a
      cat' or 'like a dog'. Of course, because I can come up with this
      question does not mean I understand what it means for something to have
      catlike qualities or doglike qualities nor does it mean these attributes
      actually exist. Same for the question of 'right or wrong'.

    10. David Faubion

      Ethos for the ancient was synonymous for action and/or non-action that is effectual, sustainable and objective: ethical action works for everything and every being. Economics was a moral philosophy, rather than the modern game of self interest. The ideal game was the expansion of ethical action.

    11. zee788

      Sure, but that's a different point you're talking about.

    12. a_no_n

      sure technically speaking...but technically speaking numbers don't exist either...that's not stopping you from using binary code to post asinine opinions is it?

    13. zee788

      What relevance is there about anything you said to ethics?

    14. a_no_n

      i was pointing out that your entirely semantic argument is itself irrelevant,

    15. Jamie Ray Donald Kutaj

      I agree. Some people just want to argue I guess :) or less fortunate for them, they are unaware that they are incorrect.

    16. NX2

      Ah, no basis in reality...then, define reality.
      Anyway, can't the same be said just as easily about supply and demand?

  13. zee788

    FIFA is just another example of crony capitalism. F--k the world cup, f--k FIFA, and f--k everything else as well. Nietzsche was right, god is dead and morality is a farce.

    1. Jamie Ray Donald Kutaj

      Morality is a farce only if you have decided to give uo on being good.

    2. Rodney Bresch

      I agree, morality isn't some static set of rules or inherent "good" or "bad" qualities, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

      Look at symbiotic relationships between "animals". Does the clownfish clean the sea anemone and chase away predators, cuz it wants to be a good fish. No, it does it, cuz it benefits from their cooperation.

      Cause and effect "defined" morality...far before we did.

    3. Ashitaka Emishi

      I do believe there are other more rich and satisfying ways of existing that are waiting beneath the surface of our conditioned mind, this problem of ethics and morality is really a problem of perception, we perceive ourselves separate from this world and all the other life forms with whom we coexist, that's why we act so irresponsibly.

    4. zee788

      It is possible for things that are 'rich and satisfying' to be 'moral', but these two terms are not synonymous by definition. So whether there are actions that are rich and satisfying does not mean those actions are automatically moral. The connection between the two must be specifically shown. I argue there is no such connection.

    5. Rodney Bresch

      There are consequences for your actions, even if you're unaware of them. The end. Get over it. Being "decent", and working with others, who realize how working together, is better than fighting, is not the end of the world.

    6. zee788

      Of course there are consequences for your actions, and certain behaviors lead to more productivity and wealth, etc. When did I dispute that? That is a separate issue.

    7. Pepe Alvarado

      What I believe you failed to undstand, is that there is an obvious diference between fighting, and working together in respect. ........................................................................................................................................................ You can get as "philosophical" as you want; or you can play with words and their meanings all day, every day... It won't change fighting from being an opposite of working together. It won't change how oppositely different you'll feel if someone shows you respect, to how you'd feel if someone pushes you aside just to walk by... That is the basics of ethics

    8. Rodney Bresch

      Sorry, I got a little nasty, and it wasn't called for.

      Morality, is beliefs about what is "right" and "wrong"(dictionary). There isn't some magical goodness, we decide what's right and wrong, based off of our understanding of choices, and consequences.

      If there were no consequences, there would be no morality. You say there isn't, but people do believe some things are right, as opposed to wrong. They think this...cuz...

    9. Rodney Bresch

      Outside of being self righteous(aka the bigger picture), even from a cold and calculated standpoint, it is more efficient, to work together.