46 user 66 critic

Carandiru (2003)

1:17 | Trailer
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 »


Hector Babenco
16 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos ... Médico - Physician
Milton Gonçalves ... Chico
Ivan de Almeida Ivan de Almeida ... Nego Preto - Ebony
Ailton Graça ... Majestade
Maria Luísa Mendonça ... Dalva
Aida Leiner ... Rosirene (as Aída Leiner)
Rodrigo Santoro ... Lady Di
Gero Camilo Gero Camilo ... Sem Chance - No Way
Lázaro Ramos ... Ezequiel
Caio Blat ... Deusdete
Wagner Moura ... Zico
Julia Ianina ... Francineide
Sabrina Greve Sabrina Greve ... Catarina
Floriano Peixoto ... Antônio Carlos
Ricardo Blat ... Claudiomiro


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


Aqui dentro ninguém é culpado. Você acredita nisso? (Inside here nobody is guilty. Do you believe that?)


Drama | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Dr. Drauzio Varella wrote the original book at the encouragement of a patient he was treating for lymphatic cancer. That very patient happened to be Hector Babenco, who recovered and went on to direct the film adaptation. 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 »


Lady Di: 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.
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?
Lady Di: Oh, about 2000.
See more »


Referenced in Owner of the Story (2004) See more »


Written by George Frideric Handel (as Haendel)
Public Domain
Performed by Orquestra Sinfônica Internacional and Quarteto Celeste
See more »

User Reviews

very good film: terrible and all true.
21 May 2003 | by minimal-cut-setSee all my reviews

Carandiru is a a very good film. I think it is not the best Babenco's movie (e.g. not so good as Pixote) but yet it is one of the best film I have seen during this last year.

In the first place, it should be remarked that it needs a lot of courage to put on screen the beautiful and crude Varella´s book on the day-by-day of prisoners of the Sao Paulo jail Carandiru (once the biggest jail on Brazil, now demolished). In particular the movie shows one the the darkest pages in the recent Brazilian history, namely, the massacre occurred in that jail in October 1992: during a rebellion, the police invaded the prison and killed summarily 111 prisoners. Not a single policeman was even injured during the action.

In order to understand the movie, I think is very important to stress how deep has been the relevance of this sad and cruel event in the slow evolution of the Brazilian society towards less barbarian standards. At the time of the massacre most of the elites, media and middle class supported the police action and only ten years later, in 2001, some of the authors of the massacre has been put on trial. In other words the Carandiru tragic facts of 1992 and the way they have been so differently evaluated here during these years, reveals in a tragic fashion one of the most explosive contradiction of the present Brazilian society, in which a large majority of the Brazilians is completely excluded and plundered.

The movie of Babenco show this clearly and powerfully. Babenco used different kind of approaches. Most of the time the tone of the movie is realistic even bordering a documentary, but there are scenes in which the movie becomes visionary.

I am not surprise that the film was not well accepted in the recent Cannes festival. Critics from the first world are not expected to know much about the actual situation of Brazil (euphemisticly speaking). The fact is that Brazil in the USA/Europe imaginary continues to be unfortunately the country of carnival, football and samba and dark crude point of view such as the one of Babenco tend to be considered as disturbing or worst boring. So, while in the preview session for the press in Cannes 2003 most of the comments were "too long", this nearly three hours movie is one most

seen of the year in Brazil.

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Brazil | Argentina | Italy



Release Date:

11 April 2003 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Carandiru - A börtönlázadás See more »


Box Office


BRL12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,945, 16 May 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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