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Capadocia: A Place Without Forgiveness — Season One (DVD Review)

1 Jun, 2011 By: Angelique Flores

five-DVD set $19.98
Not rated.
In Spanish with English subtitles.
Stars Ana De La Reguera, Erendira Libarra, Dolores Heredia.

HBO Latin American Originals’ “Capadocia” is inspired by real-life events and inmates at Mexico City’s infamous Santa Marta Women’s prison — an alarming thought.

Based in Mexico City, Capadocia is a new experimental women’s prison (think forced labor camp). Rife with corruption from the start, the prison is a battleground among the prisoners and among those in charge, with criminals and innocents on both sides.

Some inmates are gang members, addicts, depressed or just hardened by the system.

Those on the other side of the prison bars aren’t much better off. There is the heavy-handed head of security who can’t manage to keep the chaos subdued, the corrupt governor who is only concerned about votes, and the men from ECSO, a company that uses the prison as a form of cheap labor for its business. Fighting all of them is social activist and attorney Teresa (Dolores Heredia), who was named director of Capadocia by the governor, also her ex-husband.

The show immediately sucks you in like a grisly car crash. Though dark and violent, the show has stirring depth and substance, with intricate subplots and well-developed characters, though it’s a little challenging at first to figure out who’s who. But the quick pace and the nonstop drama move things along.
Standout among the talented cast is Heredia (Vantage Point, Rudo y Cursi), who’s magnificent as the tough, smart and beautiful activist. Equally compelling are Cecilia Suárez, who as gang leader inmate Bambi nails the crazy-eyed deranged look, and Luisa Hurtas as the elder inmate Magos.

“Capadocia” won three International Emmys: Best Drama Series, Best Actress for Suárez and Best Actor (Oscar Olivares).

The set contains 13 episodes, audio commentaries on select episodes, collectible cards of the main characters and a disc of bonus features, including a photo gallery, a sneak peek of season two and a “filmography and characters” section, which is helpful in clarifying some of the characters’ roles and backstory. The extensive behind-the-scenes featurettes, which don’t have the English or Portuguese subtitles, give insight into every aspect of making the show. It would have been interesting to see a featurette about the Santa Marta Women’s prison.

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