Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

City of God (2002)

Directed by Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund

Starring Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Phellipe Haagensen, Douglas Silva


A polished, well-made movie about very poor people in a very poor area. You don’t see that much. Goodfellas in the Brazilian ghetto.

A bit of Guy Ritchie flavor. Excellent acting.

One Comment

  1. A movie about very poor people in a very poor area???? Ahhhhhhhhhhh……(screaming out loud) OMG, you didn’t get it!!!
    I’ll try: The film describes the growth of organized crime in “Cidade de Deus” between the late 60s and early 80s. (Cidade de Deus – translated as City of God – was one of the first favelas in Rio de Janeiro and it’s known to be very violent)

    Most favelas is/was dominated by drug trafficking and, to film it, Fernando Meirelles had to have approval from criminals to enter their space. Another curiosity: most actors are not real actors, but ordinary people, residents in various slums of Rio… (so, to show their faces worldwide, they had to have an special authorization… crazy, hu?)
    Returning to the question of drugs…
    Unfortunately, the slum dwellers only have peace when it’s under the command of a drug dealer (or, in some cases the police – SEE YOUR HOMEWORK DOWN HERE). It turns out that traffickers fight against each other for slums territory. This is what the film shows.
    That said, you have to have this situation in mind when watching such a movie, otherwise, I agree with you: it will seem that it is a film about very poor people in a very poor place.;)

    HOMEWORK: Watch Elite Squad (Tropa de Elite). About corruption within the Rio police when attempting to pacify slums.

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