City Of God
Directors: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
Release Date: 31 August 2002
Alexandre Rodrigues … Buscapé – Rocket
Leandro Firmino … Zé Pequeno – Li’l Zé
Phellipe Haagensen … Bené – Benny
Douglas Silva … Dadinho – Li’l Dice
Jonathan Haagensen … Cabeleira – Shaggy
Matheus Nachtergaele … Sandro Cenoura – Carrot
Seu Jorge … Mané Galinha – Knockout Ned
Jefechander Suplino … Alicate – Clipper
Alice Braga … Angélica
The film revolves around the, ‘City of God,’ a favela (or ghetto) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a horrifying area where drug dealers run the community, and where children killing children is not an uncommon occurrence.
The story begins with the early stages of the City of God (in the 1960’s) showing where many of the problems stem from- the extreme poverty, overcrowding etc. Here, in the early stages of the favela, we meet our main characters, along with the supporting cast. The story revolves mainly around two characters living in the favela, Rocket and Lil Ze, and how they take two different paths through life. Rocket’s dream is to become a photographer and to escape the City of God while Lil Ze becomes a powerful gang leader and drug dealer.
The film offers an unflinching look at gang life in the City of God, as it follows the favela through three decades; the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, and shows how violence just spirals into more violence with the disturbingly high amounts of violence in the favela, most involving teenagers and children.
The direction, cinematography, and editing are all Oscar-worthy. The cinematography is some of the best I have ever seen- with a very visceral, jerky feel, very reminiscent of Saving Private Ryan. The editing is very frantic, which makes you feel like you are on the streets of the City of God, and the direction is flawless, seamlessly blending the many elements of the story.
The film was definitely one of the best films I have ever seen. The story, the direction, the cinematography, the editing and the acting all add up to make a excellent movie that I would recommend to all.