Seven Brazilian teenagers film their housemaids, exposing issues of class,…
This fascinating feature documentary, winner of several international prizes, offers an intimate look inside the Brazilian justice system, closely observing the everyday work of attorneys, judges, prosecutors and other legal professionals, as well as the defendants passing through the system-a young man caught with a stolen car, another charged with complicity in petty theft, and a teenager arrested for possession of drugs and weapons.
The film follows each case through its various stages, showing the defendants' meetings with public defenders, the reading of the charges and questioning of the defendants by a judge, scenes of their detention in grossly overcrowded cells, and supervised meetings with family members. JUSTICE (Justiça) also extends its view beyond the courtrooms and jails to reveal the personal lives of a judge, a public defender, and the families of the accused.
The film's straightforward observational approach, lacking any voice-over narration, gradually succeeds in revealing a broader social picture, one involving clear implications of police corruption, an oppressive judicial system that basically seems designed to punish the poor for petty crimes, and a penal system characterized by horrifically inhumane conditions. In a very compelling way, JUSTICE reveals the legal system as a sort of public theater dramatizing the social relations and power structures of Brazilian society at large.