Forbidden to Forbid (2006)
"Proibido Proibir" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  27 April 2007 (Brazil)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 514 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 7 critic

The story of three friends in Rio de Janeiro. When a patient at the hospital where Paulo interns asks him to get in touch with her sons, the three friends are pulled out of their tranquil ... See full summary »



(collaboration), (collaboration), 2 more credits »
0Check in
11 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drained (2006)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A pawn shop proprietor buys used goods from desperate locals--as much to play perverse power games as for his own livelihood, but when the perfect rump and a backed-up toilet enter his life, he loses all control.

Director: Heitor Dhalia
Stars: Selton Mello, Paula Braun, Paulo Alves
House of Sand (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A woman is taken along with her mother in 1910 to a far-away desert by her husband, and after his passing, is forced to spend the next 59 years of her life hopelessly trying to escape it.

Director: Andrucha Waddington
Stars: Fernanda Montenegro, Fernanda Torres, Ruy Guerra
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When ordered by his father to avenge the death of his older brother, a young man questions the tradition of violence between two rival families.

Director: Walter Salles
Stars: José Dumont, Rodrigo Santoro, Rita Assemany
The Clown (2011)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Father and son work as clowns Puro Sangue/Valdemar and Pangare/Benjamin in a circus in the Brazilian countryside. Benjamin decides to follow a different path and meets several people on the way.

Director: Selton Mello
Stars: Selton Mello, Paulo José, Larissa Manoela
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The lives of the residents of a Brazilian apartment building and the security guards who get the job guarding the surrounding streets.

Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho
Stars: Ana Rita Gurgel, Caio Almeida, Maeve Jinkings
Lower City (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Lifelong friends Deco and Naldinho, who own a small steaming boat in Bahia, meet strip-dancer Karinna. Both men fall for her and their friendship is deeply shattered.

Director: Sérgio Machado
Stars: Alice Braga, Wagner Moura, Lázaro Ramos
Carandiru (2003)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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 »

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Enrique Diaz, Wagner Moura, Caio Blat
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Jorge Furtado
Stars: Lázaro Ramos, Renata de Lélis, Sérgio Lulkin
Entre Nós (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A group of literature-loving friends bury letters to be opened 10 years later when they will confront the dreams of their youth with what the future has held in store for them.

Directors: Paulo Morelli, Pedro Morelli
Stars: Júlio Andrade, Caio Blat, Diogo da Silva
Love for Sale (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In order to get funds, a young woman living in the Northeast of Brazil decides to raffle her own body.

Director: Karim Aïnouz
Stars: Hermila Guedes, Maria Menezes, Zezita Matos
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A story about four brothers from a poor family who need to fight to follow their dreams.

Directors: Walter Salles, Daniela Thomas
Stars: Sandra Corveloni, João Baldasserini, Vinícius de Oliveira
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In the great restaurant of life, there are those who eat and those who get eaten. Raimundo Nonato finds an alternative way, a life of his own: he cooks in order to survive and find a place ... See full summary »

Director: Marcos Jorge
Stars: João Miguel, Fabiula Nascimento, Babu Santana


Credited cast:
Maria Flor ...
Edyr de Castro ...
Rosalina (as Edyr Duqui)
Raquel Pedras ...
Adriano de Jesus ...
Luciano Vidigal ...
Andressa Furletti ...
Wanderson 'Petão' Lopes ...
Cinézio (as Wanderson Petão)
Marcio Augusto ...
First Cop
Henrique Rodrigues ...
Second Cop
Bruna Di Tullio ...
Blue-eyed girl (as Bruna di Túlio)
Lorena Da Silva ...
Archictecture Professor
Mariana Durán ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paulo Halm ...
Sociology Professor


The story of three friends in Rio de Janeiro. When a patient at the hospital where Paulo interns asks him to get in touch with her sons, the three friends are pulled out of their tranquil lives and drawn into a web of violence and police corruption.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis






| |


Release Date:

27 April 2007 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Forbidden to Forbid  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was intended to be set in 1968, hence the title "Forbidden to Forbid", the motto of the French students riots of May 1968. Director Durán eventually decided to set the story in the present times. See more »


These are the Songs
Written & Performed by Tim Maia
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The best Brazilian film in quite a while: don't miss it
12 November 2007 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Insightful, provocative and intensely moving, "Proibido Proibir" is about what it means to be a young college student in a big Brazilian city like Rio de Janeiro in the 2000s and have your dreams and hopes downsized by the stark reality. The three protagonists are the medical resident Paulo (sleepy-eyed Caio Blat), who numbs his sensitivity by being cynical and taking drugs and whose motto is ""Proibido Proibir" ("It's Forbidden to Forbid", the motto of the French 1968 student riots and title of Caetano Veloso's seminal song); his roommate and best friend León (Alexandre Rodrigues, who played Buscapé/Rocket in "City of God"), a black Social Sciences student who learns -- the hard way -- that being middle-class and educated won't prevent him from receiving some of the usual "treatment" reserved for poor blacks; and León's girlfriend Letícia (the lovely, fresh-faced Maria Flor), an architecture student struggling to keep her sense of ethics and aesthetics from being crushed by the ugliness (literal and metaphoric) around her. As Paulo finds himself falling for Letícia, the love/friendship triangle is formed and this film is, in many ways, a 2000s Third-World "Jules et Jim" -- and nearly as heart-wrenching, passionate and memorable.

"Proibido Proibir" is about trying to preserve a sense of purity and dignity, as well as fighting moral (and environmental) putrefaction. Having seen their hopeful dreams of youth fall short (how many youngsters still believe they can change the world? Shouldn't they?), Paulo, León and Letícia have to learn the tough limits of reality: that doctors can't always save lives; that a city like Rio, once famous for its breath-taking natural beauties and architectural landmarks, has turned into "an ocean of slums" (as Letícia puts it); that favela dwellers seem "condemned" to live in poverty, segregation, violence, lack of public assistance and disrespect for basic rights, where human lives are worth very little, and where the police -- who should protect them as regular citizens -- are often their harassers and executioners, involved in either big corruption schemes with drug traffickers and gunrunners or petty schemes (like here) with local shop owners who pay cops to kill street vendors who interfere with their business.

Director/writer Jorge Durán (screenwriter of landmark Brazilian films of the 1980s, like "Pixote", "Gaijin", "Nunca Fomos Tão Felizes") builds up the story in a slow crescendo that explodes in the last half hour. At first centering on the personal issues of his characters -- their ordinary lives, dreams, longings, pleasures, frustrations -- , he gradually makes the "real, adult world" become their waking call to social and political conscience, through leukemic Rosalinda (Edyr de Castro) and her two ill-fated sons. But how do you keep the city's putrefaction -- the chronic, criminal incompetence of successive governments, the urban and environmental chaos, the promiscuous association of power, violence and corruption -- from contaminating your soul? The film is never patronizing or condescending and, most importantly, Durán refuses phony "heroic" solutions, but never lets cynicism and hopelessness leak in. It's not about the big difference any of us can make -- it's about not letting indifference win.

One of the highlights of "Proibido" is the choice of locations: Durán avoids the usual Rio "postcard shots" or the hip "favela aesthetics", showing "mixed" landscapes, like the engineering wonder that is the Church of Penha atop a steep hill overlooking a now degraded part of town, or the breathtakingly beautiful Rio skyline as viewed from a beach on the other side of the polluted Guanabara bay (directly paraphrasing the beach scene in "Jules et Jim"). And we're caught thinking "how could such beauty get degraded? Who's to blame? Can it ever be stopped?". When Letícia's tiny figure appears against the towering Capanema building, designed by Le Corbusier and Lucio Costa (a landmark of Rio's modernist architecture), we can feel her sense of awe and discomfort -- shouldn't she instead be studying how to help solve the housing problem of millions of people who live like rats in the favelas? What are the priorities? How could the several governments in the last 40 years let Rio get this degraded? Can it ever be reverted? Is there a solution?

"Proibido" is deeply moving but never maudlin, visually striking but never exhibitionist, insightful but never preachy. It has an affectionate understanding and open-mindedness that belongs to a mature, experienced man (Durán is now 65 years old), yet the film is anything but an "old man's film". Durán lets his very young cast fill it with excitement and urgency, and they're uniformly great, with Caio Blat, Maria Flor and Alexandre Rodrigues in their best performances to date, and a scene-stealing turn by the very young Adriano de Jesus as the ill-fated Cacauzinho. And, as a bonus, "Proibido Proibir" has got that rarity in contemporary cinema: a life-affirming, cathartic, unforgettable finale -- it's a knock-out.

Do not miss "Proibido Proibir" -- there are tons of mediocre, empty, dim-witted films on "youth" out there. This one has actually something important to say, and says it splendidly.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is the tittle misspelled in purpose? juanmanuel-v
Discuss Forbidden to Forbid (2006) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: