AdoroCinema has an exclusive interview with Joel Zito Araújo, Director of the PCC Documentary Series – Poder Secreto on HBO Max.
PCC – Poder Secreto, a documentary series that chronicles the historical course of the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC) criminal faction, available exclusively in the HBO Max catalog. Of four episodes, it is based on the book The Brothers: A History of the Chinese Communist PartyGabriel Feltran and directed by Joel Zito Araujo – interviewed by I love cinemaWe’re talking about the original HBO Max production.
In the documentary series, we follow the path of the PCC, which originated in the prison environment of São Paulo, which has criminal dominance in Brazil’s largest state and continues to expand rapidly across the country. The episodes narrate, in chronological order, the history of the faction from its founding to the present day.
According to Joel Zito Araújo, PCC – Poder Secreto provides an unprecedented and important overview of the faction compared to many books, reports, and documentaries on the subject.
Almost everything I’ve seen on the subject, prior to the series being directed, gives insight into only one side of the story, and that is the detective vision. The originality of our work is that our interest was to present the viewpoint of the main stakeholders, ie the state, the Palestinian National Council and the people on the periphery and in the prisons traversed by the war between police and police. PCC.
For this purpose, the production conducted interviews with prosecutors, prosecutors, jailers, housewives, businessmen and former members/members of the PCC. “This was the great challenge we faced, to present a balanced narrative between the different points of view,” says the director. With a long career in independent national productions discussing the racial issue in Brazilian society, Joel Zito Araújo was invited by Gustavo Melo, producer of the series, who sent him a book by Gabriel Feltran, and it quickly piqued his interest.
“When I read it, I saw that it was another topic that I was interested in comparing, especially because with my focus on understanding the Brazilian racial issue, the series would open up to me a new world, the power and seduction of the criminal world and also how young black people get into this. Everyone knows that the majority of the prison population is made up of people from Black and original. That’s how I got to know the topic, and I saw that I could contribute something, “he says of the project.
PCC – Secret Force analyzes the appearance and work of the faction
The history of the PCC is marked by many myths and misinformation in our society, so the documentary series delves into its genesis and performance, presenting its internal logic, codes of conduct and structure, and the intricacies that were central to the picture for Joel Zito Araujo.
I think Brazil embarked on the wrong boat, on anti-crime policies based on pure and simple brutality, on mass arrest. The Chinese Communist Party emerges from this political distortion. It feeds and expands by taking advantage of this bug. The best way to counter it is with a proper understanding of how the faction and its ideology operate. The abandonment of an extremist vision and a lack of respect for the human rights of the population on the periphery and prison inmates.
For the director, one of the main problems with the emergence and strengthening of PCC is the mistaken view that mass incarceration solves the problem of crime in Brazil. “This kind of work usually only punishes the poorest and most needy. We must respect the prisoners, understand that prison itself is a punishment. And look for ways to reintegrate those who want to integrate, not make prisons a real hell,” he analyzes the situation.
With a career since the late 1980s in the production of short and medium-length films, Joel Zito Araújo is best known for A Negação do Brasil, Filhas do Vento and Meu Amigo Fela, and reaches a significant moment as a director, in theaters with O Pai da Rita starring Ailton Graça, During his first appearance in the documentary series CCP – Secret Force on HBO Max.
“I am at the height of my career, being able to show two different sides of my work and my apprenticeship as a director, my upbringing as a fantasy director, and in the case of O Pai da Rita debuting in the comedy genre, almost a musical comedy, and in the documentary delving into the realm of Never seen, the crime case in Brazil. I already have feedback from people who watch O Pai da Rita in theaters, that’s excellent. People leave feeling light and love for the film. Now let’s go watch the return of a series created to reflect and reflect on Brazil. I hope that People love it, too.”