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Quase Dois Irmãos 2004
Description: The strange friendship between two boys of opposite social classes. Miguel is a senator. His childhood mate Jorge is a major drug-dealer. In the 1970s, they meet in prison: Miguel was there for political reasons, and Jorge, as a common criminal.
Released: 01 Apr 2005 Director: Lúcia Murat Writers: Paulo Lins, Lúcia Murat (screenplay), Lúcia Murat (story) Actors: Caco Ciocler, Flavio Bauraqui, Werner Schünemann, Antônio Pompêo Genres: Drama
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Quase Dois Irmãos Reviews:

QUASE DOIS IRMÃOS (the game translates as something like ALMOST LIKE TWO BROTHERS) is a brutal examination of Brazilian society, divided between black and white people, between politicians and drug barons, boys and women, mothers and sons, us and them. There are times when these worlds live together, but they are bound to collide, ruin and burn. The film follows the friendship between a black boy from the slums (Jorge) and a communist (Miguel). In their childhood, they enjoy minigames and listen to the samba; in their youth, they are arrested (Miguel for political reasons, Jorge for being a thief); later, Jorge has become a drug baron and Miguel is a politician who forgot his dreams of changing the world. The centerpiece of the film is the time they spent together in jail. Miguel learns that the "people" for whom he wars is not the method he idealizes them, and Jorge learns how to take the "political view" into the crime life, thus generating the organized crime. The director Lucia Murat, no strange to political persecutions herself(she was arrested and tortured by the dictatorship in Brazil)conducts this epic storyline with intimate care and nice storytelling. The cast is top-notch, with nice Brazilian actors giving the performances of their lives (Caco Ciocler and Flavio Bauraqui are standouts). A masterpiece from Brazil who deserves to be discovered.


I saw this last night and thought it was brilliant and beautiful. It's like a deeper, more realistic ver of "The Town of God" with more social context. The audience applauded at the end of last night's showing, which hasn't happened too often at another festival showings I've been to. Lucia Murat, the director, was there last night. She said us that both she and her husband were left-wing activists and political prisoners in the 1970s under the military rule. The prison part of the storyline is based partly on her and her husband's experience. She worked with the creator of the ebook ver of "City of God" to receive nuances of the slum life right (Paulo Lins, creator of "Cidade de Deus"). Many of the kid actors in the film now live in the slums. The test of non-linear narration, the interlacing of few stories from various time periods (like in "21 Grams"), is confusing at first. It's a tiny difficult to hold track of who's who. But if you pay attention and bear with it for the first half hour, the confusion does clear up. I think this mixing of stories is done for more than just theatrics. It reminds us that these folks from various worlds, rich and poor, black and white, are really similar and interdependent.


In the 70's, the military dictatorship sent many political prisoners to the Presidio da Ilha Grande ("Great Island Prison) together with common prisoners, using the National Safety Law, with the intent of reducing their moral and integrity. With the exchange of notification between these two various worlds, the criminals learned how to organize and this was the origin of the presently large criminal gangs in Rio de Janeiro (such as the "Commando Vermelho" (the IMDb dictionary changes the correct spelling with only one "m"), "Terceiro Commando" etc.). Director and screenplay writer Lúcia Murat, who was a member of the Brazilian guerrilla arrested and tortured in prison by the military dictatorship, discloses this strong and realistic view of the two worlds that does exist in the Brazilian society: the violent underworld of the slums and the repressed globe of the streets. Using the friendship of a white and a black boy along decades, in a non-linear and very original screenplay, Lúcia Murat follows the parallel lives of Miguel and Jorginho in the 50's, when they were children; soon in the 70's, when the political prisoner Miguel meets Jorginho in the prison; and in the show days, when Miguel is a deputy of the legislative body, and the still imprisoned Jorginho is the leader of a criminal gang. In her raw and true analytical view of our society, the police supply the weapons to the criminals; a deputy has to ask for permission to the king of the slum to implement a social tool to the community. The tagline of this film is amazing: "We all have two lives: the one we dream of and the one we live". The pretty game song "Quase Irmãos" ("Almost Brothers") of Naná Vasconcelos and sang by Luiz Melodia and Naná Vasconcelos magnificently completes this perfect movie. Last but not the least, in accordance with the cover of the DVD, this film was awarded in the following festivals: (1) Rio Festival: Greatest Director, Greatest Actor, Greatest Latin-American Film, Fipresci Prize; (2) Mar del Plata Festival: Greatest Iberia-American Film, Greatest Movie (Public); (3) Havana Festival: Greatest Montage and Greatest Melody Score; (4) Official Section of Toronto and Montreal; (5) Paris Festival: Greatest Movie (Public); (6) Amazonas Movie Festival: Greatest Film. I do not understand why this nice movie has not been indicated by Brazil to the Oscar. My vote is nine.Title (Brazil): "Quase Dois Irmãos" ("Almost Two Brothers")



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