Directed by Alexandre Moratto, Netflix’s Brazilian drama film ‘7 Prisoners’ centers around Mateus, an 18-year-old who arrives in São Paulo with the dreams of employment and financial security. Mateus gets a job in a junkyard, but his dreams get shattered when he gets exploited, along with his peers, by the overseer Luca. Without pay or freedom, Mateus and other boys are forced to do the work in the junkyard and the film progresses through Mateus’ attempts to save himself from the predicament.
Inspired by various human trafficking and modern-day enslavement accounts, Moratto depicts the distressing realities of Brazil through the eyes and innocence of Mateus. When Mateus and his peers get locked in the junkyard, the humongous, yet compact cityscape in the backdrop offers an eerie appeal to the film. While Luca exploits the boys in the seclusion of a nook of the city, one gets curious about the city that witnesses everything Mateus and his peers go through. On that note, let us share the filming locations of ‘7 Prisoners’ with you!
7 Prisoners Filming Locations
‘7 Prisoners’ was filmed in its entirety in Brazil, specifically in São Paulo. Since the film is highly rooted in the present conditions of Brazilian urban reality, the choice of the location also acts as an integral part of the narrative, providing authenticity. Now, let’s get into the details of the specific location.
São Paulo, Brazil
The filming of ‘7 Prisoners’ took place in São Paulo, the most populous city proper in Brazil. Renowned as an alpha global city, São Paulo is a famed international hub of commerce, culture, and art. The home of the tallest skyscrapers in Brazil, the city offers an unparalleled outlook for the world to mesmerize.
But towards inside, the city also becomes the home of varying appalling living situations and conditions. Establishments and sweatshops filled with people working in harrowing surroundings are not unusual in the city. Beyond them, there are secluded corners of the city where the exploitation of human beings is an ordinary tale. Alexandre Moratto’s camera focuses on these darker, unpleasant dimensions of the city than its vibrant outward appearance.
As far as the narrative of ‘7 Prisoners’ is concerned, the city of São Paulo offers authenticity and objectivity to the story of Luca and Mateus. The splendidness of the city nurtures Mateus’ dreams of a better life, whereas for Luca, the city’s unilluminated inside spaces, like his junkyard, act as the secure ground for his viciousness and exploitation. São Paulo, in an objective visual sense, offers both sides for the principal photography of the film.
Owing to the diverse outlooks the city offer, popular productions have always been interested in São Paulo for filming. The city served as a filming location for popular projects like ‘Black Mirror,’ ‘Sense8,’ ‘Blindness,’ etc. Still, ‘7 Prisoners’ offers a dimension of the city that’s new and startling than anything we have ever seen of São Paulo.
Read More: Is 7 Prisoners Based on a True Story?