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March 17, 2007

Movies: City of God

City of God
Directed by Fernando Meirelles Screenplay Bráulio Mantovani
Starring Alexandre Rodrigues,Leandro Firmino, Phellipe Haagensen, Douglas Silva, Seu Jorge     

You can view the trailer here: Trailer

City of God is an awesome film.  It is easily considered one of my favorite films of all time.  The film is about the lives of several individuals and the corruption in a city in Brazil, Cidade de Deus (City of God).  The narrator of the film, Rocket (Rodrigues), introduces the Cidade de Deus as a poor place where people struggled to get by.  The city was initially filled with friendly type gangs that stole to help the poor but eventually as time went on the gangs became territorial and eventually dominated the city within twenty years.  Rocket is faced with a dilemma because he is not a gangster and nor does he want to be, but is somehow caught up with the gangsters because of his notorious older brother.  Everything is corrupt in Cidade de Deus including the children, the drug lords, the police, and the government.  With no one legally involved to help Cidade de Deus it is only a matter of time before everyone in the city is living in fear for their lives. 

I love this film because of the character development.  The film follows many different individuals whose lives are intertwined in one way or another.  You are never second guessing the credibility of the characters, whether is the gangster tendencies of drug lord Li’l Ze (Firmino), the suaveness of Benny (Haagensen), or the timidity of Rocket.  Because the film follows many of the main characters from the time when they were children to twenty years later, we get a true understanding of who the characters are and where they come from.  We also understand the reasons for the corruption in the Cidade de Deus and of how it almost seemed inevitable.  The thrill of the film is anticipating how something that is inevitable is going to be overturned. 

When I initially saw the film I did not know that it was based on a true story, but when I found out that it was, I loved the film even more.  City of God leads you into the intricate lives of several individuals along with the intricacies of a corrupt city.  The film never has you questioning anything that you are not suppose to be questioning.  Although the story seems surreal and unrealistic, the filmmakers do an excellent job of bringing Cidade de Deus to life.  As unrealistic and trivial the plot may seem, the film is believable and that’s probably because it is a true story.         

Posted by vatran at March 17, 2007 04:05 PM


Never seen or heard of this movie. After reading your review, it looks like something I would be interested in seeing. Will put it on my list of movies to watch.

Posted by: diamantj at April 19, 2007 11:31 AM

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