City of God (2002)


Cidade de Deus – Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund

Cidade de Deus (original title)

Summary:  In City of God, Brazil; a boy nicknamed ‘Rocket’ (Alexandre Rodrigues) tells the story which starts with a gang known as ‘the Tender Trio.’  One of the three in this gang is Rocket’s older brother, which is how he knows so much about them, their story and how they shaped the future of gangs in the City the following decade.  Younger kids, friends of Rocket’s at the time, had watched the Tender Trio during this period and learnt the ways to rob, steal and run, which soon allowed Lil’ Dice (Leandro Firmino) and Bené (Phellipe Haagensen) to snatch power from the streets by unmercifully wiping out all rival gangs making them the ones who ruled the roost.  Any last remaining members of the rival gangs and other newly developed enemies revolt against this power struggle, dragging in friends, careers and love interests making an equation that could only end in an explosive end.

My Review:  I’ve seen this film time and time again but after showing it to a friend whilst traveling I realised I still hadn’t added this to my list of reviews!  This might be one of my favourite foreign films of all time and it still makes an impact to every new viewer I’ve shown it to.  No holding back, this one hits the ground running with its pace and style, whilst the film reel runs to keep up with its narrative there’s a melting pot of themes such as love, drugs, money, lust, revenge and despair, to name a few.  Only masters of film making can produce such an epic that looks as effortless as this.  I’ve never found another film like it.

Rating:  5/5

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