a blog with cultural bulimia.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Brazil prison siege ends 02/20/01

[IMAGES: above is the real Carandiru and on the right, a movie still.]

Carandiru opens today.

It's the real Oz, its dirty version (the Oz prison was cleaner than the ER hospital). Saw it in Brazil last year. Very powerful. More powerful than City of God. Which might be a problem for the American audience... And then, there is Brazilian hottest export, Rodrigo Santoro playing Lady Di, a drag queen.

Carandiru was the name of a prison in São Paulo - and the name of a book written by the doctor that worked in there as a way of dealing with his job psychologically - where a rebellion of prisoners occurred (and a subsequent massacre). The building, later, gets imploded, in a reaction - or better - in an attempt on moral cleansing.

Dramatically, the movie reminded me a lot of... Oz. Each character that is presented has his 'version' of why they are in there told in flashback. As one of them say: "Doctor, don't you understand yet? We are all not guilty in here." It's like a collection of little documentaries, there is not a single story. Maybe, the story of the building itself. (the implosion was filmed after the film was finished - filmed inside the real prison - and added later).

I, once again, hate the generalizations that will be formed in people's mind here of what Brazil is like because the will see this movie. And only this movie.

But, with apprehension, I highly recommend it...