Brazilian filmmaker Hector Babenco directs the confrontational drama Carandiru, based on the best-selling novel by Dr. Drauzio Varella. The episodic story is set in Sao Paulo's House of Detention (referred to as Carandiru), one of Latin America's largest prison systems. The doctor (Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos) is an oncologist who arrives in the jail to test patients for HIV infection. Seeing the disease, overcrowding, and rampant circulation of drugs, the doctor comes to realize the internal power structure among the prisoners. Several narratives develop, including the attempted murder of Dagger (Milhem Cortaz), the solitary confinement of Chico (Milton Goncalves), and the romance between Lady Di (Rodrigo Santoro) and Too Bad (Gero Camilo). The doctor eventually establishes a routine and sees the prisoners as survivors, leading up to the violent conclusion: a reconstruction of the October 2, 1992, prison riot known as the Carandiru Massacre.
by Andrea LeVasseur synopsis