Sunday, October 11, 2009

Salve Geral: a movie about the Brazilian penitentiary system

Salve Geral* the movie, recounts the attacks that came up on news, when the criminal organization called PCC (First Capital Command) promoted an outbreak of violence against civil and authority targets in May 2006 in São Paulo (City and State). The story is told through the eyes of a piano teacher (Andrea Beltrão) who tries everything to get her teenager son out of jail.

Already displayed on the Brazilian cinema network, Salve Geral movie places itself into the category of fictional violence documentaries. The Brazilian previous style's editions were: Last Stop 174, City of God and Central Station which Brazil submitted for consideration in the Academy Awards category, as inspired on real violent events. Salve Geral (a movie of Sergio Rezende) was chose to be evaluated by the Academy for the 82nd awards ceremony on 2010.

The attacks in São Paulo, the largest city in South America made headlines all over the world. The criminal 'party' (as they call themselves) chose the Brazilian Mother's Day to the riot and it was undoubtedly amazing how civilians could challenge police men at the time on everywhere. The movie reveals how it happened and highlights some lack points on the prison maintenance system.

On my personal opinion, the movie is much better than I though it'd be. On the other hand, it is softly enough to make you forget about the prisoners claiming and shows a bit of confusion of feelings when it brings to much events to the same ending point. The choice of telling the story through the eyes of a main character — that had just chanced her economic status — places the reaction on violent situations close to the average audience point of view.

Unfortunately the trailer version is just in Portuguese.
According to the Brazilian audiovisual secretary Silvio Da-Rin, the movie was chosen for “its artistic and technical quality, the sum invested in the budget (about R$ 8m/US$ 4.4m) and the contemporaneity of the subject’’. The Oscar nominations will be announced on February 2nd and the 82nd awards ceremony will take place on March 7th. 

(*) Salve is slang for Hello and the criminal organization meant Salve Geral as "Say to every authority on each place that we rule the country. So Salve Geral means a general remembering.

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