Based on the memoirs of a doctor, Drauzio Varella, who administered at São Paulo's most notorious prison, Babenco's film introduces us to a dozen or more inmates. These universally colourful characters spin wild tales of rough justice and betrayed innocence in flashbacks that give the stories a feel that's practically Runyonesque. It's entertaining, and you learn quite a bit about the do's and don't's of the Brazilian penal system (pray this never comes in handy), although the mise-en-scène feels terribly old fashioned after City of God - until a shocking dramatic climax wipes the smile off your face.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Victor Navas, Fernando Bonassi, Hector Babenco|
|Cast:||Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos
Ivan de Almeida
Maria Luísa Mendonça