Dir. José Maria Cabral | Dominican Republic | 2017 | 106 min. | NR| DCP |Spanish with English Subtitles
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Dominican filmmaker José María Cabral delivers a knockout drama burgeoning with atmosphere and sexuality in this gritty nail-biter shot on location inside a notorious prison in the Dominican Republic. Julián (actor Jean Jean) steps off a bus, hands over his clothes, gets his long curly locks chopped off, and begins a jail sentence for petty theft inside a notorious prison just outside Santo Domingo. While navigating the indignities, corruption and everyday violence from both guards and fellow inmates, he becomes immersed in the system of "Woodpeckers," the unique sign language the male prisoners use to communicate with women in the adjacent penitentiary just over 400 feet away. Julián's encounter with one female inmate, Yanelly (Judith Rodriguez Perez), is the fuse that ignites the events of Carpinteros, wherein Julián must find a way, through cement, barbed wire, dozens of guards, and murderous exes to win Yanelly’s love, all the while keeping it secret.