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Carandiru (2003)

R  |   |  Drama, Crime  |  11 April 2003 (Brazil)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 12,895 users   Metascore: 71/100
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Brazilian MD Drauzio Varella starts AIDS prevention in Brazil's largest prison, Carandiru, in São Paulo, where the population is nearly double its 4,000 maximum. Doc learns from experience ... See full summary »


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Title: Carandiru (2003)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Médico - Physician
Ivan de Almeida ...
Nego Preto - Ebony
Ailton Graça ...
Rosirene (as Aída Leiner)
Gero Camilo ...
Sabrina Greve ...
Floriano Peixoto ...
Antônio Carlos
Ricardo Blat ...


Brazilian MD Drauzio Varella starts AIDS prevention in Brazil's largest prison, Carandiru, in São Paulo, where the population is nearly double its 4,000 maximum. Doc learns from experience and mainly stories the tragic stories of hideous crimes which landed scum there and passionate dramas adding otherwise decent people. Just when he believes to leave the prisoners happy with a soccer tournament, a silly clothing line argument kick-starts a politically opportune revolt repression. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence/carnage, language, sexuality and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

11 April 2003 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Carandiru - A börtönlázadás  »

Box Office


BRL 12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,977,227 (Brazil) (11 April 2003)


$213,954 (USA) (13 August 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The real Carandiru prison was demolished in 2002, it will be transformed into a park with arts facilities. One block (#2) was left intact to be used as a museum. The film was the last thing they used the prison before demolishing 90% of it. See more »


One of the inmates is wearing a Brazilian national team football shirt with four stars, representing the four times that Brazil was FIFA world-champion. But the movie ends in the massacre of 1992, two years before they won the fourth title. See more »


Referenced in Carandiru.doc (2003) See more »


Fúria Verbal
Written and performed by Thaíde and DJ Hum
See more »

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User Reviews

A Movie Of Individual Stories
8 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One could easily get the wrong impression of the storyline here. Yes, it is based on the true-life massacre at the Brazilian prison in 1992 BUT that story is only shown in the last 30 minutes of this 145-miniute film.

The movie is really about the people who inhabited that prison back in that time. There are short profiles of numerous criminals, told through the eyes mainly of a doctor who is sent there. AIDs was a major problem in the jail. The doctor treats a lot of people who then tell him stories how they got to be inmates at Carandiru. In addition, there are bunch of scenes in which the inmates interact among themselves, shown as everything from antagonists to lovers.

Make no mistake: some of the stories are sordid, but its not as unpleasant to watch as one might think because the characters and the film-making are very interesting. The storyline moves fast, which is important considering the length of this film.

A viewer could even stop the movie at several points, pick up later without losing much since the story unfolds in segments. The ending (the massacre) really comes on suddenly. Unlike most movies,the story doesn't build up to the climax, here it just appears out of nowhere.

The same director who did the more-famous "City of God" filmed this and many critics here say it's not in the same league, but I thought it was at least in the same ballpark Both are entertaining, and most of us watch films to be entertained. So, if you liked ""City Of God," give this one a look as well.

21 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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