7 Prisoners review – devastating but compelling trafficking drama

Alexandre Moratto’s feature about workers lured into modern-day slavery in Brazil takes an unexpected turnYou would expect a film about human trafficking and modern-day slavery to be devastating, and this Brazilian drama duly horrifies.

But it doesn’t evolve in quite the direction you might anticipate which, strictly from a film point of view, makes it much more interesting than your standard social realism.

With a Brechtian approach that compels the viewer to question both their own ethical assumptions and tacit complicity in a worldwide consumerist culture that exploits people all over the planet, 7 Prisoners is deeply uncomfortable but utterly compelling viewing.The film reteams director Alexandre Moratto, making his second feature-length work after Sócrates in 2018 with young actor Christian Malheiros, who starred as the title character.

This time Malheiros plays Mateus, a young man from Brazil’s deep inland farm country, who has accepted a job offer

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