Run Time: 127 minutes
A sappy 1980s Sylvester Stallone action pic bore the tagline "Crime is a disease. Meet the cure." In the same era - but thousands of miles away, figuratively and literally -? was the Casa de Deten?ion in S?o Paulo, also known as Carandiru, Latin America's largest jail. Where the line between righteousness and evil, hero and villain, is never Hollywood simple. Disease here can mean scourges of hatred, poverty, revenge, drugs, greed...as well as tuberculosis, leptospirosis and a new plague - AIDS. Into the grim fortress comes a physician to minister to more than 7,000 potentially dangerous (or contagious) inmates. Based on a nonfiction bestseller, this follows a respected prisoner called Black Nigger who mediates resident disputes in the cellblock society and a hard assassin who converts to an evangelical priest. Pressures build into a 1992 riot that stuns the entire nation. Hector Babenco, director of "Pixote" (6th CIFF, 1982), took three years to make this saga of humanity caged under criminal conditions. And if bearing witness is part of the cure, take heart that CARANDIRU has become the biggest local hit of Brazilian cinema in ten years.
Victor Navas, Hector Babenco, Fernando Bonassi (based on the book
Luiz Carlos Vasconcellos, Milhem Cortaz, Milton Gon?alves, Avan de Almeida, Ailton Gra?a, Maria Luisa Mendonca