The Prison and The Street

80 MINS2005NR
Liliana Sulzbach
Cláudia is the oldest and most respected inmate at Madre Pelletier Penitentiary. The one who gives the orders and who protects. She protects young Daniela, for example, whose life is at risk because she is accused of having killed her own child. But Cláudia, like Betânia, is to leave the prison soon.

Daniela will have to defend herself alone. Cláudia leaves in search of her son. Betânia feels the temptation of leaving the rules of the semi-open regime to one side, to live in freedom with a new love.

O Cárcere e a Rua wanders between the cells at Madre Pelletier women's penitentiary in Porto Alegre and the streets of the capital of Rio Grande do Sul state. Bars and freedom, women and crime, recovery and recurrence - this is what director Liliana Sulzbach tries to talk about. Her three characters are Daniela Cabral, aged 19, charged with the killing of her own son, Betânia Fontoura (picture), aged 28, condemned to 15 years for robbery, and Cláudia Rullian, aged 54, the inmate who has been the longest time in that place. The links and disconnections between prison and the outside world are the film's best part: upon watching the assisted freedom of Betânia and Cláudia, we add a piece to the social puzzle Brazilian documentaries are gradually putting together.

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