Synopsis by Jason Buchanan
Documentary filmmaker Maria Ramos offers a fly-on-the-wall look at the Brazilian judicial system in an unflinching portrait of the three most crucial elements of the courtroom: the judge, the public attorney, and the accused. In Rio de Janeiro, the gap between the privileged and the not so privileged is staggering. Every day, floods of young men wash through the courtroom to battle accusations of thievery and violence, their very lives thrown at the mercy of a system so overwhelmed that it has nearly lost the ability to discern hard facts from corruption and lies. Instead of staging interviews with her subjects in typical documentary fashion, Ramos opts for a more observational style of filmmaking, following her subjects at work and at home to offer a telling portrait of life in the cramped courthouse, where the judges face a constant uphill battle, and in the ramshackle favelas, where life is cheap and futures are decidedly bleak.
big-city, Brazil, court-system, criminal-justice, impotence [lack of power], interrogator, judge, lawyer, poverty, public-defender, suspect, trial [courtroom], violence