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City of God

A movie directed by Fernando Meirelles

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Fascinating film

  • Nov 25, 2005
  • by
Rating:
+5
I had rented this out from the library and after I've finished viewing it you are left wondering about the irony of the title. It is not long in the movie where you realize that the City of God is a place totally forgotten by everybody. Still, that is the name that the government of Brazil gave to the housing developments outside Rio, constructed in the early `60s to hold thousands of people. Those slums, known as "the favelas", eventually led to the isolation of poor people from the city center, becoming a place where music, life and color can be sensed in the air, but at the same time the law is absent and the violent gangs rule the streets.
"City of God" tracks the lives of hoodlums in the ghettos near Rio de Janeiro for three decades. Rocket is the main narrator, a boy who tries to overcome his circumstances to become a photographer. The character work is excellent, and gangsters like Li'l Ze, Knockout Ned, and others come to vivid life. The world depicted in this film is a bleak one, and although violent, much of the violence seems a necessary commentary on what makes the people living in it act in such a way. The camera work, and the narrative technique, one that loops backward and forward which isn't bad at all.
This film will blow your mind away; it will certainly trouble you and probably make you feel a bit ashamed and guilty about the things that actually happen around the world, without us doing or knowing anything about. It is certainly refreshing to see occasional moments of humor intervene with its otherwise grim and serious nature. In any case, it is one of the most powerful, aesthetically and visual strident films in recent years.

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February 05, 2011
thanks for moving this over, Jen-jay!
 
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More City of God (2002 Movie) reviews
Quick Tip by . January 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
phenomenal movie!! moving and beautiful to look at.
review by . September 24, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Life is hard and difficult. Unfortunately, for many people in the world life is also unbearably brutal. Living in the United States we often forget that, even if we grew up in impoverished small towns or in the slums of the inner city. CITY OF GOD is a film that examines the brutality of humanity in a housing project that is part of Rio de Janeiro.    CITY OF GOD is the name of a housing project built in Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s. From watching the movie, it seemed to me that …
review by . March 19, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Everything.     Cons: Nothing. (some may want to beware of extreme violence)     The Bottom Line: See it.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. Yeah, I can’t even come up with a title to do this movie justice. I just absolutely loved it. This is movie #6 of my film class, coming from the favelas (poverty-stricken areas, basically) of Brazil. I don’t even have any goofy quips to start …
review by . January 17, 2006
City of god is a film that you have to see to know how good you have it. These kid's are faced with everything from murder to drugs and it doesn't stop there. Not only do they have to live in an environment filled with crime some of them take part in it before they even hit age 10 and what's crazy is that this is based on a true story. This is a very rugged film as you see children that must do this to survive and the rise and fall of one child that did this for the rush and to satisfy a hunger …
review by . March 30, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
This film attacks with images which resemble predatory birds flying at us at supersonic speed, trying to claw out our eyes with their talons. Paradoxically, the film also numbs us to the relentless carnage it so graphically portrays. Directed by Fernando Meirelles with invaluable assistance from Katia Lund and set in the slums of Rio de Janeiro (a squalid and violent area known as "City of God"), the film's narrator is Buscape ("Rocket"), an amateur photographer. Listing other actors and the names …
About the reviewer
Jen-Jay AKA:JJI ()
Ranked #82
Married into the military for over a decade and it does has itpros andcons. The lifestyle is great and Ido enjoy it. I'm able to do things and see things that I thought I wouldn't dream of. My kids loves … more
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About this movie

Wiki

Like cinematic dynamite,City of God lights a fuse under its squalid Brazilian ghetto, and we're a captive audience to its violent explosion. The titularfavelais home to a seething army of impoverished children who grow, over the film's ambitious 20-year timeframe, into cutthroat killers, drug lords, and feral survivors. In the vortex of this maelstrom is L'il Z (Leandro Firmino da Hora--like most of the cast, a nonprofessional actor), self-appointed king of the dealers, determined to eliminate all competition at the expense of his corrupted soul. With enough visual vitality and provocative substance to spark heated debate (and box-office gold) in Brazil, codirectors Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund tackle their subject head on, creating a portrait of youthful anarchy so appalling--and so authentically immediate--that City of God prompted reforms in socioeconomic policy. It's a bracing feat of stylistic audacity, borrowing from a dozen other films to form its own unique identity. You'll flinch, but you can't look away. -- Jeff Shannon
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Details

Director: Fernando Meirelles
Genre: Drama, Foreign
Release Date: January 17, 2003
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: June 8, 2004
Runtime: 2hrs 11min
Studio: Miramax Films
First to Review
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