2 April 2005 | fercastro
A country torn apart
QUASE DOIS IRMÃOS (the title 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, men and women, mothers and sons, us and them. There are times when these worlds live together, but they are bound to collide, crash and burn. The movie follows the friendship between a black man from the slums (Jorge) and a communist (Miguel). In their childhood, they play games 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 movie is the time they spent together in jail. Miguel learns that the "people" for whom he fights is not the way 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 story with intimate care and great storytelling. The cast is top-notch, with great Brazilian actors giving the performances of their lives (Caco Ciocler and Flavio Bauraqui are standouts). A masterpiece from Brazil who deserves to be discovered.