7 Prisoners (2021)

  • Contemporary World Cinema, Drama
  • 1h 33m
  • Brazil

After the TIFF Next Wave Film Festival selection Socrates, director Alexandre Moratto and producer Fernando Meirelles return to TIFF with a compelling tale of modern-day indentured slavery in Brazil.

7 Prisoners follows a group of honest men from the countryside who think they are going to São Paulo for work but end up locked in a junkyard, where they are told they must work to pay off steep debts. The place functions like a prison; they are surveilled at gunpoint and their loved ones are threatened. One of the men, Mateus, tries to make a deal with the owner, Luca, saying he can increase productivity if Luca agrees to release them in six months. But it’s a slippery slope, and Mateus becomes the boss’s assistant in order to get ahead.

The heartbreaking story reflects on systemic oppression and corruption, and on how a person can compromise their own sense of friendship and community to survive in an extreme situation. It also depicts the smuggling and cruel exploitation of migrant workers. There are no winners here, as we discover that dire circumstances can make people alternately endearing and naive, or capable of physical and psychological violence. With a thriller touch and stellar performances by Rodrigo Santoro and Christian Malheiros, the film transcends the facile binary of good versus bad to create a sense of urgency about some of the world’s most blatant injustices.

DIANA CADAVID

Content advisory: racial violence, coarse language, frightening scenes

Cinematographer

João Gabriel De Queiroz

Executive Producer

Cristina Abi

Executive Producer

Camila Groch

Producer

Ramin Bahrani

Producer

Bel Berlinck

Production Companies

O2 Filmes, Noruz Films

Production Designer

William Valduga

Screenwriter

Thayná Mantesso

Screenwriter

Alexandre Moratto

Sound

Tom Myers

Primary External Publicist

Netflix

Canadian Distributor

Netflix

US Distributor

Netflix

Composer of Original Score

Felipe Puperi

Composer of Original Score

Rita Zart

Composer of Original Score

Tiago Abrahão

Language

Portuguese

Captions

English

Programme presented by
Sun Life