Cidade de Deus (2002)
Brazil / Portuguese
"If you run you're dead...if you stay, you're dead again. Period. "Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.
"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
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.
Would also recommend: Bus 174 and Carandiru