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 »
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 »
Best buddies Acerola and Laranjinha, about to turn 18, discover things about their missing fathers' pasts which will shatter their solid friendship, in the middle of a war between rival drug gangs from Rio's favelas.
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 »
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
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 film the Corinthians (a traditional soccer team) symbol is shown prominently in flags and shirts with four stars; three for the Brazilian cups they won until 2003 and one for the world championship in 2000. However, in 1992 they had only won one Brazilian cup and no world title, so the symbol should have a lone star. See more »
Babenco caught the hard sadness of prison life in 'Carandiru.'
'Carandiru' is a mess, not just the blood flowing over the steps of the infamous São Paulo prison that was razed after a prisoner riot and slaughter in 1992. In 145 minutes, Hector Babenco ('Pixote,' 'Kiss of the Spider Woman') has too many episodes about different inmates that only tangentially and sometimes superficially relate to the central subject of AIDS prevention; frequently they are standard flashbacks to what the prisoners did to merit incarceration.
A secondary and successful purpose is to reveal a highly structured prisoner society where justice is swift and not always wrong, where the only mistake is to give in to the civilian authority, at which point any freedoms are lost. Despite the crowded and unsanitary conditions, inmates are usually safer and healthier inside rather than out.
The story is told mainly from a prison doctor's point of view as he interviews the inmates for AIDS screening and hears about their lives. Although he is way too happy in his work, he represents a humanistic attitude lacking in the prison officials and the world outside.
Homosexuality, while appropriate for any prison tale, seems to dominate the entire long movie (145 minutes) and throw into relief the director/ writer's interest in the subject that began at least in 'Kiss.' One of the most affecting scenes is the marriage of a devoted, physically mismatched couple and the subsequent attempt by the smaller 'husband' to protect his bride. Babenco and the actors manage to relay dignity and gravity in a situation that could be laughable if not at least clichéd.
Babenco was inspired to write this screenplay by a doctor who saved his life, a doctor who wrote about his experiences in this prison in 'Carandiru Station.' Although HBO's 'Oz' prison series was more insightful, no account could be as loving and socially concerned. Famous prisoner Oscar Wilde wrote in 'De Profundis,' 'A day in prison on which one does not weep is a day on which one's heart is hard, not a day on which one's heart is happy.' Babenco caught the hard sadness of prison life in 'Carandiru.'
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