Also watched: Carandiru

Also watched Carandiru from the land of the City of God. Yup, another Brazilian Movie.

Directed by Hector Babenco, the movie is told from the point of view of a doctor who newly takes charge to prevent the spread of AIDS at a prison named Carandiru. The movie is allegedly based on real life events and takes you into the lives of the prisoners in Carandiru.

While the movie did remind me of Oz, one of my favourite prison dramas, this movie had more grime and realism to it which is what grips you although you have to follow the sub-titles. The movie showcases the degrading conditions of life in the prison which was continuously being taken over and ruled by the prisoners who maintained their own law & order within the walls while the police maintained the walls.

The degrading conditions and the complexities of life within the walls sparks off an incident which leads to a climax that can only be described as a massacre. The tale has its sub plots and story lines dealing with relationships, between prisoners, between the prisoners and their families. A lot of these stories are told in flashback mode as the prisoners recount their tales and lives to the doctor.

The actors, mostly unknown ( to me, at least) except for a face or two who have played latin roles in hollywood flicks, put in an honest performance and that makes a huge difference in this film.

At the risk of sounding cliche, I would say the movie was different. The makers somehow kept it personal and non voyeuristic and yet managed to draw you into the prison. Can be watched if you get a hold of the DVD. Available at Habitat in Bangalore though.


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