A strong, well-made drama that always feels original despite being set in much of the same social background as the major international successes that were ‘Central Station' and ‘City of God' (life and crime in the favelas, homelessness and the search for lost family). Crime, drug addiction and evangelicalism are presented without judgement but as what they are: human attempts to survive. Watching the experiences and conditions that lead characters to commit atrocious acts helps explain these actions for what they are - misguided rebellions against a society that has administered them countless injustices.
Cris Vianna gives a heartfelt performance as a mother searching for her child, and there are some fantastic uses of Brazil's most famous land mark, the Christo Redempto statue, as an all seeing conscience watching down on sins committed. Sublime cinematography and strong performances from a cast boasting only three professional actors embellish a gripping story, though its real originality is in the truthful psychological study of the protagonists decline.