Source: Catholic News Service
Raw and rambling prison drama about life in an explosively overcrowded Latin American penitentiary as seen through the eyes of a humanitarian-minded doctor (Luis Carlos Vasconcelos) brought in to implement an AIDS-prevention program. Based on actual events which occurred at Brazil's notorious Sao Paulo House of Detention, the film, directed by Hector Babenco, conveys an almost palpable sense of confinement and tinderbox volatility, but falls short of compelling, in large part due to an unfocused, episodic script, and, despite an underlying theme of redemption, the doctor's nonjudgmental acceptance of the inmates' aberrant behavior. Strong bloody violence including an intense riot sequence, several sexual encounters with partial nudity, a casual attitude toward homosexuality, recurring drug content and much rough and crude language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.
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