Complexo | Parallel Universe
Mário Patrocinio
In Rio de Janeiro, about 13 km from Christ the Redeemer, two Portuguese brothers ventured into the most feared favela (slum) of Brazil with 300 000 people. Once, this was the city’s largest store-room for weapons and drugs and it is known as... Complexo do Alemão. 

In 2007, during the period of stronger tension and violence in Rio, they closely lived the largest police operation ever launched in that state; they felt in their skin what it is to wake up with the sound of gun fire and often to sleep accompanied by shots.

They lived the life of a simple dweller. COMPLEXO shows this dangerous and complex system, a parallel universe inserted in a larger order, a world apart from the global scheme. The heads of the largest criminal faction of Rio speak intimately and plainly of the life in the world of Trafficking. They are in fact the power that exists after a decades-long absence of government power.

Dona Célia, a struggling mother with eight children to feed, shows adversity and how her faith in Jesus makes her believe all is possible. As she says, “God gives us clothes according to the cold”. “God is great, but business is nasty" says Seu Zé, the president of the dweller`s’ association for more than thirty years, who survived the frightening expansion of the favela, the arrival of crime, drugs and guns, who lived through many policies and wars. He is a wise man of the favela. 

Mc Playboy is a funk artist who soon realised that his path was not Trafficking. He saw many of his friends murdered, he conquered his space within the community and he fights to destroy prejudice and to bring together the so-called both sides of society. The people in the favela live under constant tension in the midst of a power game where both everything and nothing is possible.  Through action and word, each character adds a piece to a gigantic puzzle that reveals to us the daily life of the favela as a whole. 

COMPLEXO reflects a fascinating parallel universe, as an order that emerges from the apparent anarchy of Brazilian marginal life.