Tuesday, April 13, 2004

More of the Same?

Rocinha and Vidigal favelas are to be walled off from the rest of Rio after a weekend which saw six civilians and two policemen shot dead at the weekend.

This news comes hot on the heels of a DVD I watched at the weekend which my parents brought back from Brazil last week. Due to go out on general release later this year in the UK, Carandiru is the story of the overcrowded prison in Sao Paulo of that name. It is notorious for the massacre which happened there in 1992, when 111 inmates were killed by the state police.

Like the other big film before it - City of God - Carandiru highlights the social problems in Brazil today. Whereas the films of the 1950s and 1960s dealt with the struggle between capitalism and communism and rural poverty, today's directors are taking their inspiration from the lack of alternative belief systems, urban deprivation and inequity within society.

But the question must remain as to whether the presentation of these social ills will ultimately make decision makers realise the policies they have been using all this time haven't worked. And if so, what will they do to change them.

What do you think? Let me know.

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