In 1998, Brazil was the first country in the world to imprison people who released hot-air balloons. But far from ceasing to exist, the balloon culture simply went underground. Having been part of Brazil’s cultural heritage ever since colonial days, the balloons became increasingly popular in the favelas (shanty towns). Today thousands of balloon gangs represent an important alternative to the “real” gang violence that claims more than 60.000 lives anually. However, the law punishes all balloon activities with up to three years of prison, justified by fire hazards and dangers to air traffic. The film follows the two gang members Jabá and Ton, who belong to two of the most infamous balloon gangs in Brazil over five of the most dramatic years in recent Brazilian history.
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