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Screenings: City of God

June 18th, 2010 · No Comments

Cidade de Deus (City of God)  (2002)

IMDb‘s synopsis:

Taking place over the course of over two decades, City of God tells the story of Cidade de Deus (Portuguese for City of God), a lower class quarter west of Rio de Janeiro. The film is told from the viewpoint of a boy named Rocket (Busca pé in Portuguese) who grows up there as a fishmonger’s son, and demonstrates the desperation and violence inherent in the slums. Based on a real story, the movie depicts drug abuse, violent crime, and a boy’s struggle to free himself from the slums’ grasp.

What a stunning film! Violent, sure; those little kids running loose around the slum shooting anything with a pulse were as frightening as anything in the movie. But – and I always say this when pressed – what sets this picture high and above most of what I’ve seen lately is the story. Story and visuals: that’s what makes a great piece of cinema. (Yes, acting is important, but you can still have a great film without too much help from the actors – some examples that immediately come to mind are The Red Balloon and Koyaanisqatsi.) The makers of Slumdog Millionaire surely borrowed tone, setting and scenario from City of God, and it’s a crime that more people haven’t (apparently) seen it.

The following clip has no English subtitles (they are not necessary), and is not recommended for the squeamish:

Tags: film · Screenings

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