13 June 2006 | claudio_carvalho
The Thin Line Between Police and Criminals
In the end of the 60's, the military dictatorship sent political prisoners to the Instituto Penal Cândido Mendes, Presidio da Ilha Grande, together with common prisoners, using the National Security Law, with the intent of reducing their moral and integrity. The criminals learnt how to organize and in 1969, the criminal organization "Falange Vermelha" ("Red Phalanx") was created inside this prison. This was the beginning of the organized crime in Rio de Janeiro.
In 1983, Brazilian TV Globo broadcast this fictional mini-series about the creation of "Falange Vermelha" and had many troubles with censorship. After five months and many mutilations, the story composed of twenty episodes was finally released to the audience.
When the criminal Paulo Alberto (Nuno Leal Maia) is executed in the Baixada Fluminense, his lover Marluce (Betty Farias) keeps an old clock he stole in his last heist with a treasure hidden in its interior. The dirty detective Tito Lívio (José Wilker) tries to retrieve the object and the honest Gilberto (Jonas Bloch) protects Marluce. Meanwhile, an innocent and simple man, Valdir (José Dumont) , is wrongly accused of a heist and sent to prison. Together with Paulo Alberto's cousin, Jorge Fernando (José Mayer), who had had contact with a political prisoner, they found the criminal organization "Falange Vermelha", using the principles of union, confidence and brotherhood.
The plot shows dirty cops, social injustice, urban crime and corruption, repression and negligence in the police and the penal system. Unfortunately, the VHS released in 1986 has only 117 minutes running time, giving only a slight idea of the story. This awarded and impressive series deserved a box of DVDs. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Bandidos da Falange" ("Bandits of the Phalanx")