Carandiru is a 2003 Brazilian and Argentine film directed by Hector Babenco. It is based on the book Estação Carandiru (English: Carandiru Station) by Dr. Drauzio Varella, a physician and AIDS specialist, who is portrayed in the film by Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos.
Carandiru tells some of the stories that occurred in Carandiru Penitentiary, which was the biggest prison in Latin America. The story culminates with the 1992 massacre where 111 prisoners were killed, 102 by Police. The film was the last thing the prison was used for before it was demolished in 2002, one year before the release of the film.
This episodic story is set in São Paulo’s notorious prison Carandiru, one of Latin America’s largest and most violent prison systems.
Dr. Drauzio Varella arrives at the prison as a volunteer to test the prisoners for the deadly HIV infection.
Seeing the disease, overcrowding and rampant circulation of drugs, the Doctor realizes much of the prison is controlled by the inmates. They decorate their cells and have an established pecking order. The strong inhabit messy individual suites and the weak are jammed together, as many as sixteen sharing a 100-square-foot (9.3 m2) cell.
Several narratives develop in the film: the attempted murder of Peixeira, the solitary confinement of Chico and the romance between Lady Di and No Way.
Dr. Varella establishes a routine and comes to see the prisoners as survivors.
The movie ends with a violent prison riot that historically took place on October 2, 1992. The repression of the riot became known as the Carandiru Massacre.
- ABC Cinematography Award: Feature Film – Best Sound: Romeu Quinto, Miriam Biderman and Reilly Steele.
- Cartagena Film Festival: Golden India Catalina – Best Film: Hector; Best Supporting Actor: Ivan de Almeida, Caio Blat, Ricardo Blat, Gero Camilo, André Ceccato, Milhem Cortaz, Enrique Díaz, Milton Gonçalves, Ailton Graça, Antônio Grassi, Sérgio Loroza, Wagner Moura, Dionísio Neto, Robson Nunes, Floriano Peixoto, Lázaro Ramos, Sabotage, Rodrigo Santoro and Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos
- Cinema Brazil Grand Prize: Best Director: Hector Babenco; Best Screenplay, Adapted: Hector Babenco, Fernando Bonassi and Victor Navas.
- Havana Film Festival: Audience Award: Hector Babenco; Glauber Rocha Award: Hector Babenco; House of the Americas Award: Hector Babenco; OCIC Award: Hector Babenco; Radio Havana Award: Hector Babenco; Saúl Yelín Award: Hector Babenco; Special Jury Prize: Hector Babenco
Directed by: Hector Babenco
Produced by: Hector Babenco and Oscar Kramer
Written by: Hector Babenco, Fernando Bonassi and Victor Navas
Story: Dráuzio Varella
Cast: Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos, Enrique Díaz, Wagner Moura and Caio Blat
Music by: André Abujamra
Cinematography: Walter Carvalho
Editing by: Mauro Alice
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics, Globo Filmes
Release date: January 16, 2003
Running time: 147 minutes
Country: Brazil – Argentina