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 ...
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The lively João Grilo and the sly Chicó are poor guys living in the hinterland who cheat a bunch of people in a small Northeast Brazil town. But when they die, they have to be judged by ... See full summary »
André, relatively poor, falls in love with Silvia, a neighbor whom he spies with a telescope. Falling more and more in love with her, he begins to follow her around the city and realizes ... See full summary »
Renata de Lélis,
Lisbela is a young woman who loves going to the movies. Leléu is a con man, going from town to town selling all sort of things and performing as master of ceremonies for some cheesy numbers... See full summary »
A trip to the mental institution hell. This odyssey is lived by Neto, a middle class teenager, who lives a normal life until his father sends him to a mental institution after finding drugs... See full summary »
Cássia Kis Magro
The life and times of Cazuza, Brazilian singer/poet/enfant terrible, from his start with rock group "Barão Vermelho", to his death from Aids, in 1990, showing his career, love affairs, and involvement with drugs.
Daniel de Oliveira,
After a prison riot, former-Captain Nascimento, now a high ranking security officer in Rio de Janeiro, is swept into a bloody political dispute that involves government officials and paramilitary groups.
Boy tries to help his uncle, guilty of a murder case, to prove his innocence. He thinks the uncle has confessed the crime as a cover-up for his girlfriend, who was the wife of the dead man.... See full summary »
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
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 »
During the riot, as the inmates are running up the stairs of the cell block shortly after the riot squad has entered, one inmate can be seen wearing a T-Shirt of hip-hop group the Wu-Tang Clan. The group only formed in the year the riot took place (1992), and did not release their first widely available album (36 Chambers - Enter the Wu-Tang) until the following year. It is unlikely they would at this time have had a following in Brazil, nor would merchandise be available. See more »
I've come to take the test.
Médico - Physician:
Please, take a seat. First, I'd like to ask you a few questions, Lady Di.
I've seen this movie before, doctor. I've never needed a blood transfusion and I never pierce my veins. The only drug I use is a joint now and then... when I watch TV or for a little romance.
Médico - Physician:
And partners, how many?
Oh, about 2000.
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Let's get things straight here, if you were drawn to this film due its comparisons to the equally magnificent City of God, you're going to be surprised. Aside from the fact that its a Brazilian film about criminals, there are few similarities. While City of God was an epic story of life in the slums of Rio De Janeiro, Carandiru is about much older criminals and the days leading up to the infamous Carandiru prison massacre.
However, this is not the non-stop assault on the senses of grim violence you might expect. In fact, only the last twenty minutes or so of the film deal with the massacre at all and the film instead concentrates on a much more human aspect to the carnage. Focusing on the character of the Doctor as he tries to raise awareness of AIDs in the prison, it revolves around his day to day life as he chats casually with the inmates, learning of their hopes, fears and more often than not, their reason for being in the prison in the first place. These are stories that range from sad, to touching to outright hilarity and you soon find yourself absorbed in this world of offbeat criminals, so much so that when the violence does erupt, it is all the more shocking for it.
There are differences to the normal, US prison drama as well. I'm not sure how the Brazilians run their penitentiaries, but here there are no uniforms and they are allowed many of the comforts of home, along with free reign of the prison yard. But these are still drab conditions, with multiple inmates crammed into a single room, sweltering in the intense heat of the tropical summer. And ultimately, the prison is a community, made of genuine individuals, rather than clear cut prison stereotypes. This is a masterful film, one of my top movies of all time.
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