Memoirs of Prison
(Memórias do cárcere)

Screening on Film
Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos.
With Carlos Vereza, Glória Pires, Nildo Parente.
Brazil, 1984, 35mm, color, 185 min.
Portuguese with English subtitles.

Dos Santos recreates the memoirs of Graciliano Ramos, the celebrated author of Barren Lives who was imprisoned in the 1930s under the dictatorship of Getúlio Vargas. Arrested during a post-rebellion sweep of suspected communists, the left-leaning intellectual Ramos is taken on a journey through Brazilian prisons and consequently, a tour of the underground political histories and ideologies of Brazil. While conditions gradually worsen, his connection to his fellow prisoners only deepens and his views on humanity and artistic expression expand. Regardless of which side of the bars they reside, all are depicted with a remarkable even-handedness and many of the unlikeliest characters play a part in bringing life to Ramos’ writings and his writing to life.

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