From Brazil comes this introduction to the notorious Carandiru House of Detention in Sao Paolo where we meet an assortment of criminal dudes (and dudettes) living their life in a place where the con boss acts as judge and executioner to instill and maintain order. The warden and officials look on as nearly powerless overseers while the central figure who guides us through the labyrinth, the Doctor, exerts a calming as well as a healing effect on the detainees under his care.

Doctor Drauzio Varella worked in this place for over 12 years and recounts stories of crime, revenge, love, friendship and massacre in the book Carandiru Station (Estação Carandiru) from which this film was adapted by Fernando Bonassi, Hector Babenco, and Victor Navas and directed by Babenco (Pixote, The Kiss of the Spider Woman). The objective, it would seem, is to reveal the truth about a menacing place of incarceration.

Continue reading: Carandiru Review