Jose Padilha‘s Elite Squad, described in a Beyond Hollywood review last fall as “a kind of the anti-City of God following the Rio de Jainero police rather than the criminals,” has won the Golden Bear at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival. The Weinstein Co. will distribute in the U.S., although they haven’t set a release date.

Errol Morris‘s Abu Ghraib doc Standard Operating Procedure won the Silver Bear. Paul Thomas Anderson won the Silver Bear for best director for There Will Be Blood, Jonny Greenwood‘s Blood score was honored for artist contribution, and Wang Ziaoshuai won for his screenplay for In Love We Trust.
Elite Squad is about a government-created special paramilitary force known as BOPE (Battalion for Special Police Operations) charged with dealing with the drug gangs,” the BH review says. ” With their symbol being a skull flanked by crossed swords and a pistol, it√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s no secret what these guys are about.
“Fast paced and engaging, the film employs a similar episodic narrative structure (complete with chapter breaks) and deadpan narration that keeps the energy high and the story moving forward. And like √ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ö‚ÄúCity of God,√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ǭù it doesn√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢t shy away from showing the grim realities of the conflict between the police and drug gangs.
“It offers a scathing portrayal of the corruption that is engrained in The System which prevents the wheels of justice from turning. Each division commander has his own scam going, be it collecting protection money from the local strip clubs or selling confiscated guns back to the drug gangs. There√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s even a hilarious sequence where each division keeps moving the dead bodies from a gang shoot-out to another division√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s jurisdiction so their field reports look better.”