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Carandiru [Region 2]

31 customer reviews

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Playback Region 2 :This will not play on most DVD players sold in the U.S., U.S. Territories, Canada, and Bermuda. See other DVD options under “Other Formats & Versions”. Learn more about DVD region specifications here

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Editorial Reviews

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: it WILL NOT play on standard US DVD player. You need multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player to view it in USA/Canada: LANGUAGES: Portuguese ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), Spanish ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), Arabic ( Subtitles ), Czech ( Subtitles ), Danish ( Subtitles ), Dutch ( Subtitles ), English ( Subtitles ), Finnish ( Subtitles ), Greek ( Subtitles ), Hebrew ( Subtitles ), Hindi ( Subtitles ), Hungarian ( Subtitles ), Icelandic ( Subtitles ), Norwegian ( Subtitles ), Polish ( Subtitles ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (1.85:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Anamorphic Widescreen, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: The human life teeming through this sprawling portrait of Brazil's criminal class crowded within a notorious penitentiary exudes a throbbing flesh-and-blood intensity that's so compelling it's impossible to avert your eyes. Watching this messy epic feels a little like being jammed into an un-air-conditioned subway car on a steamy summer night as it rattles through an urban wasteland. At any second, things could explode. And eventually they do. It is the 1980's, and the setting is Sao Paolo's real-life House of Detention, which was torn down in 2002, a decade after a riot led to the massacre of 111 inmates by the police. The film is a splashy return to form by the celebrated director of "Pixote" and "Kiss of the Spider Woman." In examining social ills, it interweaves multiple stories of the prisoners' lives as viewed by a doctor volunteering his services. Below its documentary-like sprawl, "Carandiru" is a hands-on movie passionately engaged in its characters' personal dramas. Just when it threatens to go soft, it erupts in what may be the most horrific prison riot ever filmed. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Cannes Film Festival, Cartagena Film Festival, ...Carandiru ( Carandirú )


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Enrique Diaz, Wagner Moura, Caio Blat, Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos, Milton Gonçalves
  • Directors: Hector Babenco
  • Writers: Hector Babenco, Dráuzio Varella, Fernando Bonassi, Victor Navas
  • Producers: Carlos Eduardo Rodrigues, Daniel Filho, Fabiano Gullane
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00024769M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,669 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Carandiru [Region 2]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By RaabH on October 9, 2006
Format: DVD
This is much more than a prison riot film. In fact, the entire first two hours are spent exploring the lives and back stories of a select group of prisoners. Using a technique that will be familiar to viewers of the HBO series "Oz", we follow each of the prisoners in flashback through the series of events that led to their imprisonment. We also come to know what level of status (or lack of it) they each hold within the prison pecking order.

The result is for the most part a detailed portrait of daily life at Carandiru -- rivalries, loyalties, fights, love affairs, drug abuse, and murder -- along with a portrayal of the warden and his staff that is unexpectedly sympathetic.

It is worth noting that, while the conditions inside are certainly filthy and deplorable, the prisoners enjoy a surprising amount of freedom compared to similar facilities in the States. What surprised me most is a "family day" that is held each year where parents, wives, girlfriends, and children come to mingle throughout the facility with their jailed loved ones. Families picnic together and couples enjoy conjugal visits.

When the riot eventually does break out, it is not simply because the prisoners are rebelling against the poor conditions .. it is also because of one or more events that take place. (Nobody is quite capable of saying exactly which event or combination of them.) What is far more clear is the brutality shown by the police riot squad as it takes control of the facility once the prisoners have surrendered their weapons. Blood literally runs through the hallways and down the stairwells. Having come to know many of the prisoners as people makes these scenes very difficult to watch.

Overall this is an excellent movie, although anyone expecting 2-1/2 hours of hostage-taking and violence will be disappointed by its insistence on first taking the measure of the prisoners' humanity.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 22, 2004
Format: DVD
CARANDIRU is in every sense of the term an Epic film: based on a novel by a physician who wrote of his experiences in the largest prison in South America (Carandiru housed 7000 inmates in Sao Paulo, Brazil before its implosion in 2002), it documents the barely known Carandiru Massacre of 1992; it examines the individual lives, psyches, and social behaviors of prisoners in a vastly more comprehensive manner than any other film about prisons; it captures on film the squalor and tragedy and even comedy of a segregated male population who must find a means to live despite the deprivation of prison life. Hector Babenco ('Pixote', 'Kiss of the Spider Woman', etc) has written a screenplay based on the novel 'Esatacao Carandiru' by Drauzio Varella, the physician who was drawn into the drama of Carandiru after his initial academic foray into gathering blood samples from the prisoners for his work on the epidemiology of AIDS. As portrayed with great tenderness by Luis Carlos Vasconcelos, the doctor becomes father confessor to the men within the squalid walls of Carandiru, gradually unveiling the secret pasts of the prisoners - their backgrounds, their reasons for incarceration, their modes of behavioral adaptation to life in the vast structures of Carandiru.Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Swederunner on November 10, 2004
Format: DVD
In Sao Paolo, Brazil, there used to be a prison named Carandiru, which was torn down in 2002. Despite the fact that the Carandiru prison no longer exists, its haunting history cannot escape the audience. It is through Hector Babenco's direction the audience can view the brutality that took place an October day in 1992 when 300 police officers massacred 111 inmates. This dramatization is based on true events, and it is told through the testimony of a physician who worked in the prison before the riots lead to the carnage.

The story follows Dr. Varella who arrives to the prison to investigate AIDS and HIV, which was a rather new disease at the time. Through Dr. Varella the audience gets to meet a number of characters with diverse pasts, and how they ended up in Carandiru. Most of them are criminals in one way or another, however, their stories bring humanity to the dire prison. The stories depict the convicts' feelings and their lives in the prison as they have to adjust to the life in the overcrowded penitentiary. It is the struggle for an ordinary life in the jail that becomes the focus of the film, which also enhances the revolting behavior of the police force.

The depicted humanity magnifies the violence that is brought to the Carandiru through the 300 police officers that stormed the jail with assault rifles. This is reinforced through survivors of the bloody assault as they sit in on interviews in which they disclose their feeling in regards to what happened. However, Babenco does not reach the same level with Carandiru as he did with Pixote when it was released in the early 80s. The main reason is that the film feels somewhat staged as some scenes become slightly awkward unlike the rough depiction of Pixote.
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