The seminal career of Brazilian master Nelson Pereira dos Santos is considerable enough to withstand his risible pseudo-thriller, “Brasilia 18%.” It remains truly puzzling, though, how one of South America’s greatest living filmmakers could have fashioned a drama that so flatly depicts a medical expert’s gradual uncovering of a vast conspiracy to conceal a murder and rampant corruption. Pic’s near-absence at fests (outside of a few like Tribeca and Santa Barbara) speaks volumes, while insider political details restrict the drama from playing to wider auds beyond local screens.
Apparently the only Brazilian medical expert available, Olavo (Carlos Alberto Riccelli) has been called from his Los Angeles home to identify a body suspected to be murder victim and government budget expert Eugenia (Karine Carvalho, seen in flashbacks). Olavo’s mind wanders off to his dead wife, with matters further confused by enough false suspects, corrupt government honchos and sexy molls to fill at least three plots. Stolid pacing and sloppy storytelling dull whatever political rage the pic means to generate.