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City of God
Year:
2002
Country:
Brazil, France
Genre:
Crime, Drama
IMDB rating:
8.7
Director:
Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
Alexandre Rodrigues as Buscapé Criança - Young Rocket
Leandro Firmino as Dadinho - Li'l Dice
Phellipe Haagensen as Bené Criança - Young Benny
Douglas Silva as Dadinho - Li'l Dice
Jonathan Haagensen as Cabeleira - Shaggy
Matheus Nachtergaele as Sandro Cenoura - Carrot
Seu Jorge as Mané Galinha - Knockout Ned
Jefechander Suplino as Alicate - Clipper
Alice Braga as Angélica
Emerson Gomes as Barbantinho - Stringy
Edson Oliveira as Barbantinho Adulto - Older Stringy
Michel de Souza as Bené Criança - Young Benny
Roberta Rodrigues as Berenice - Bernice
Luis Otávio as Buscapé Criança - Young Rocket
Storyline: Brazil, 1960's, City of God. The Tender Trio robs motels and gas trucks. Younger kids watch and learn well...too well. 1970's: Li'l Zé has prospered very well and owns the city. He causes violence and fear as he wipes out rival gangs without mercy. His best friend Bené is the only one to keep him on the good side of sanity. Rocket has watched these two gain power for years, and he wants no part of it. Yet he keeps getting swept up in the madness. All he wants to do is take pictures. 1980's: Things are out of control between the last two remaining gangs...will it ever end? Welcome to the City of God.
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HQ DVD-rip 720x384 px 1908 Mb h264 0 Kbps mkv Download
Reviews
"One of the best films you'll ever see!"--Roger Ebert, does it live up to the hype?
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.

10/10, A+

Would also recommend: Bus 174 and Carandiru
2004-11-28
City of God
City of God was a fantastic film that had you on the edge of your seat from the first scene of the movie to the last. The two main characters they follow in the movie is Rocket a boy who does not have passion for the crime life in Rio de Janeiro and the other named Lil Ze who takes the opposite path and becomes a drug dealer. They grew up together when they were young but took completely different paths in their life. The movie does a great job of giving the full story and of all of the different characters in the movie. The movie gives a full backstory and tells the story in only a 2-hour movie which could have been at least 3 with all of the detail and story going into the movie. The details that they show in the movie is so fine that there is not an object out of place. City of God had a lot of mise-en-scene with the placement of a poster or a person in the background. Each shot has important lighting in it like during the dance there are flashing light to show the confusing that is going on during the scene. Also, the scene in the hotel room with the little kid with the blood all over the walls and the pattern of the blood. I recommend this movie to anyone who likes movies that will keep you interested and keep you wanting more. I give this movie an 8/10 and would watch it again to find more details that went into the movie.
2017-10-16
City of God Review
*Spoiler Alert*

City of God, the erratic and fast-paced thrill ride that is as violent as it is coming of age. With a cast of characters that seemed so organic and believable that you confuse the story for their day-to- day reality. Throughout the film, I marveled at the techniques that the director and cinematographer used to amplify their messages. The use of Zooms, Long shots, Split-screen, Freeze frame, slow-motion, and lighting, just to name a few. These techniques made the film extremely visually stimulating and engaging, which coincided with the dark and gritty subject matter. It also has music that is reoccurring to add an emphasis on the culture and to juxtapose with the environment. An environment where the people need "God" the most, meaning: A city of death and violence.

A specific scene that encapsulates this film's tone, subject matter, and techniques is the "Lil Dice bathhouse scene." The bathhouse scene is so significant because of the direct combination of a child, sex, and murder. This scene emphasizes Lil Dice and his psychological development as a child, meaning he displays psychopathic tendencies. The scene also relies on technique to flesh out Lil Dice as dangerous, coupled with the narration to continue a string of narrative. The cinematography focuses on making the victims yelling out of focus (depth of field) to show a mental disregarding of life by Lil Dice. He then murders them, which leads to the mise en scène becoming emphasized. The lighting behind lil Dice is complete low-key, his figure completely disappears in the darkness (figuratively and literally). There is also a yellow-tinted lens used in the scene to set a glorification of killing.

Overall, City of God, is an extremely layered film that is defiantly worth a watch. It is violent but also has a meaning of passion through the main character. I highly recommend this film as a developmental and cinematically engaging journey. The only problems I had were more about the narrative and the films approach in gimmicky story-telling (Rocket and his camera), it felt contrived in the way that Rocket was omniscient.

4/5
2017-10-16
Masterful Execution
Exhilarating on the first viewing and constantly rewarding there after. City of God epitomizes bold and invigorating storytelling both in its cinematic style and its narrative. The film expertly depicts the chaotic favelas of Rio De Janeiro, a place otherwise referred to as the 'City of God' — ironically so due to its complete lack of justice, laws or sanctity.

An epic story of crime, drama and passion unravels through the eyes, ears and camera lens of protagonist Rocket — an adolescent man in his appearance, equipped with the innocence and moral fibre of a young child. Fuelled by his own desire to survive and chasing his dream of becoming a photographer, we follow his journey on the brink of life and death as he is caught smack-bang the middle of relentless and violent gang discord.

Technically, the film is second to none, displaying a flawless combination of cinematography, editing and sound. Its cuts are rapid but sleek — possessing some of the most innovative and exemplary transitions in contemporary cinema. City of God's filmic style puts our eyes deep within the perspectives of the favela, entrenching us with the climactic and high-strung nature of the surrounding characters.

Overwhelming is the film's ability to so rawly portray the brutal nature of the world and setting, but even more astonishing is its capacity to harmoniously intertwine these elements with the feel good nature of Rocket's coming of age story. Our heartstrings are toyed with time after time, never knowing what to expect; danger, hilarity or sweetness? Our expectations are in a constant flux of surprise. If any analogy were to accurately fit such a feeling, it would be alike to the two directors Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund placing us in the front seat of a rally car with no seat belt and GPS — leaving us to guess in an anticipation as we're helplessly thrown about by the momentum of the narrative, never knowing quite where the bumps and falls will appear.

This stands as a recommendation to anyone who wants to be blown away by a compelling story, set in a unfamiliar and hostile world. Or alternatively, individuals who are yet to be wowed by the magic that foreign films can possess.
2015-09-28
Crime doesn't pay for anyone
City of God is a movie about the idea that crime doesn't pay for anyone. It goes about demonstrating this idea by showing a succession of people trying to take over the ghetto with violence. Some of the candidates are kind-hearted Robin Hoods (Tender Trio), some are accidental gangsters (Knockout Ted), some are simply evil (Lil'Z) and some are a bunch of prepubescent kids (Runts). They all use violence to pursue crime. They all fail. Even as the Runts seem to rule the day at the end, having killed Lil'Z, you know things can change tomorrow (they're like, 10 years old). These four external plots are joined by an internal plot of our protagonist, Rocket, successfully avoiding a life of crime by luck and some fortitude.

The movie seems to want to be more than an episodic chorus of violence. It strains to show that the ghetto and a broken system makes crime and criminality inevitable. It shows this mainly through the reluctant criminal of Knockout Ted who is basically forced to become a gangster after trying to live virtuously. But this idea is relegated to secondary importance for me: much of the violence is glorified, and our hero does escape a life of crime (even though he is no where near as virtuous as Ted was), providing contrary evidence to the idea that crime is inevitable.

A change of protagonist from Rocket into Knockout Ted might have gotten this movie onto this bigger idea.

That's not to say the movie doesn't have some pretty memorable scenes, locations and the fact that it's a Brazilian production based on true characters is pretty awesome. I just think it could have mixed its potent ingredients together towards a bigger idea.

My Story Chart of the movie is at storycharts.ca.
2013-08-10
Gangs of Rio
If you're unlucky to be born into a socially, economically and racially isolated community that has poverty, crime, drugs and violence as its everyday realities, the odds are stacked incredibly high against you. It literally takes so much effort, strength, struggle and plain ol' good fortune to simply avoid becoming a gangster, let alone do anything more with life. Most who find themselves in the situation described above never even enter this fight and out of those that do - only the rare ones succeed.

"City of God" depicts this conundrum masterfully.

In a Rio slum called Cidade de Deus we meet character after character that has the right idea, knowledge and courage to get out but somehow always ends up being pulled right back into this vicious circle. Becoming a hoodlum in Cidade de Deus isn't just a fringe career option for disenchanted rebels and social outcasts - it's the main industry.

The images of gun toting pre-teen killers are very disturbing and Meirelles uses them relentlessly to underscore just how hopeless and frighteningly predetermined life is for these kids. Many of them can't read or write but already know how to use a gun and kill without remorse. In a particularly harrowing scene, local drug lord Ze Pequeno or Lil' Ze (Leandro Firmino da Hora) exacts revenge on a disobedient gang of 9 and 10 year olds by incapacitating two of them and forcing one of his own kid soldiers, as initiation of sorts, to choose which one of the two he wants to kill. Faced with death, one of the kids starts crying crocodile tears; suddenly all the bravado is gone and he is shown for what he truly is - a desperately misdirected infant.

'If only these people had more options....' is the sentiment reinforced with every gruesome event.

Of course, this lifestyle comes a little more naturally to some than to others. Ze Pequeno, for example, from an early age when he was known as Dadinho / Lil' Dice shows a considerable lack of aversion to blood and death. In another aptly choreographed scene so that we don't know what exactly happened until much later, he more than 'holds his own' alongside much older gangsters during a motel stickup.

Also on hand is a colourful palette of characters. From our narrator Buscape / Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues) whose ticket out of the slum is his love of photography over to people like laidback Bene / Benny (Philippe Haagensen), followed by Ze's fierce rival Cenoura / Carrot (Matheus Nachtergaele) or good guy turned bad (although it's not so simple) Mane Galinha / Knockout Ned (Seu Jorge) we see a multidimensional, pulsating, alive community that seems in need of a strong, sustained outside push to finally stop chasing its own tail and get out of this destructive cycle.
2003-05-17
a mixture of brilliance and utter disturbance
this movie is pseudo-documentary meets Little Rascals meets Peter Parker meets Scarface meets Godfather meets Lord of the Flies meets so many other classics. it's not derivative at all, but it certainly makes you compare elements to the all-time greats of entertainment.

you hope for closure for our young photographer narrator but never quite get it, coming to the realization that this City of God is truly the Land of the Damned, even today subject to profound political corruption and gang violence. this isn't your Rio from the travel brochures...

it's quite sad that more people haven't seen this film while it's been out in arthouses and other cinemas around the country. i hope someone who hadn't seen the movie will read this and be spurred to at least rent it.

verdict: 10/10.
2004-04-22
City of God- SPOILER ALERT
"City of God" directed by Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund is a story about two boys growing up in a favela in Rio de Janeiro. The boys both face hardships in their lives, but in diverse ways. One is aspiring to become a photographer, and the other is aspiring to become the drug kingpin of the Favela. Their lives intertangle, but eventually their lives take divergent paths. This whole storyline entices excitement and emotion through its cinematography. The image match between the raindrop falling off the leaf into a bowl with a fish swimming around in it with a bigger fish ready to catch and eat its prey. This symbol of predator and prey correlates to when the cops are hunting the teenagers in the woods for robbing a hotel. This technique helps feel the emotions of the characters in this scene. There are many scenes in this film which makes the audience feel the emotions of the characters. One scene that moved me was when Benny was shot by Blacky. The use of a close-up with strobe lights gives a chaotic effect visually making the viewer disoriented. This made the movie well worth the two hours and ten minutes. Another aspect is the amount of shown violence in the film. There is an exuberant number of adults and even children getting shot. This adds to the authenticity of the film, and in the end when the audience learns that this is a true story, that makes it even more compelling. I feel that this is a must see because it shows the hidden truths of areas in poverty that get swept under the rug. This film shines light on the problems that do not get much mention in the media. I personally did not know how bad the slums of Rio de Janeiro were until I watched "City of God". It is a great thriller and educational at the same time. I would recommend watching "City of God".
2017-10-16
City of God was Incredible
I knew nothing of this film before I saw it by chance in a rare Pub open screening, but boy was I glad I got the chance to take a look. I was riveted all night - I completely ignored my friends! I thought it was an awesome re-enactment of a true story - powerful, moving, raw, real - and even funny in parts. I walked away afterwards, beaming. It's rare a great film like this is made, especially these days. I gave it ten out of ten. Please see it if you can.
2003-06-07
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