Almost Brothers | Chicago Reader

Almost Brothers

This 2004 Brazilian political drama follows two childhood friends whose lives intersect repeatedly over four decades despite their social backgrounds: Miguel was born to a middle-class white family, Jorge to black parents from the slums of Rio de Janeiro. The narrative jumps back and forth from the 1970s, when the two men find themselves in the same prison (Miguel for political activism, Jorge for robbery), to the present, when Miguel, a liberal politician, turns to Jorge, a powerful drug boss, for help on a personal matter. Despite the familiar setup, director Lucia Murat eschews melodrama, turning this into an effectively gritty and pointed take on Brazil's continuing racial and class struggles. The fine music, central to the story, is by Nana Vasconcelos. In Portuguese with subtitles. 102 min.

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