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Country: Brazil, Language: Portuguese, 71 mins

  • Director: Alexandre Moratto
  • Writer: Alexandre Moratto; Thayná Mantesso
  • Producer: Alexandre Moratto; Ramin Bahrani; Jefferson Paulino; Tammy Weiss

CGiii Comment

Think of this as a diamond in the rough...yet, even as unpolished as it is, the beauty [and heartbreak] shine through.

This is about compassion...or, to be more precise, the lack of.

Sócrates...he's only 15, gay, poor, just lost his mother, trying to survive, failing to grieve...because, survival gets in his way...a performance delivered by the exceptional Christian Malheiros.

Who makes good decisions at 15? Think: Standing on the kerb of manhood, just when the pavement disappears behind you, taking all that felt safe with it...and then, the world becomes a treacherous and merciless place.

Alexandre Moratto, this being his debut feature film, displays a remarkable [and most welcome] restraint. Predictability is something he veers towards...and then, quite unexpectedly, steers away, this is by no means an atypical poverty blues tale where you can see the end coming from afar. Quite the opposite...there is morality, there is conscience , there is desperation and disappointment...but, dignity, especially when destitute, is fibre that makes a man. Sócrates becomes a man...and, the ending will leave you gasping...for air...and, for more!

A film most deserving of a really is that good.


The(ir) Blurb...

At-risk Brazilian youth collaborated with director Alexandre Moratto on this no-punches-pulled drama about a homeless, family-less teen struggling to get by in São Paulo's ghetto.

When his mother dies unexpectedly, 15-year-old Socrates (newcomer Christian Malheiros in an astonishing debut) quickly finds his already tenuous life in the favelas of Sao Paulo pushed to the brink. Abandoned by his father as a child and guided by an often-explosive temper, the volatile youth is desperate to find a job in order to keep the rent paid and to stay out of a group home and off the streets. But when he crosses paths with mysterious Maicon, whose sketchy offer of quick cash takes Socrates to a wholly unexpected place, the young orphan must decide where his life is headed, what kind of person he is, and who he will become—all while desperately searching for his mother's remains in order to say goodbye one last time—in this astonishing feature debut from writer/director Alexandre Moratto, winner of the Someone to Watch Award at the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Executive-produced by Fernando Meirelles (City of God) and performed, co-written, and produced by a crew of at-risk youth under the guidance of the UNICEF-backed Quero Institute, Socrates is a raw and urgent reminder that, even in the rush of modern life, everyone has a story.

Hebe Tabachnik

Após a morte de sua mãe, Sócrates, um jovem de 15 anos de região periférica de Santos, litoral de São Paulo, precisa sobreviver e superar seu luto sozinho.

Cast & Characters

Christian Malheiros as Socrates
Tales Ordakji as Maicon
Caio Martinez Pacheco as Chicão
Rosane Paulo as Dona
Jayme Rodrigues as Robson