About 25 minutes into the movie, the affluent Brazilian crime boss Hernan Reyes gives a speech that sounds like an out-take from Empire-Building 101:
Reyes: Let me tell you a true story.I put the key passage in bold.
Five hundred years ago, the Portuguese and the Spanish came here, each trying to get the country from their natives. The Spaniards arrived, guns blazing, determined to prove who was boss. The natives killed every single Spaniard.
Personally, I prefer the methods of the Portuguese. They came bearing gifts. Mirrors, scissors, trinkets. Things that the natives couldn’t get on their own, but to continue receiving them, they had to work for the Portuguese.
And that’s why all Brazilians speak Portuguese today.
Now, if you dominate the people with violence, they will eventually fight back because they have nothing to lose. And that’s the key.
I go into the favelas and give them something to lose. Electricity, running water, school rooms for their kids. And for that taste of a better life, I own them.
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