Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Grungy viewing

Watched a local documentary about the female penal system here in Porto Alegre at the Casa da Cultura in town this evening. Hardly cheery stuff, but it was the only thing on at the time. A Cacera e A Rua follows three women from the closed to the semi-open system which operates in the state. One tries to make it work while another absconds and the third remains in the closed prison, at risk from other inmates, since she is accused of killing her own child.

It´s a pretty grim side of Porto Alegre which is shown, but compared to the prison scenes which many Brazilian men experience (e.g. Bus 174, Carandiru), the system down here looks far more humane. There may be overcrowding but the sense of underlying menace (except for the girl accused of child murder) is comparatively absent while the half-way houses look more like extremely run down dormitories (and an improvement on the shack that one of the girls escapes to).

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