City of God is a Brazilian Crime Drama that is loosely based on real event. This movie is, in essence, full of contrast and cycle. The Director shot it with a distinct style and the pacing is separated into chapters that are shown continuously, which is brilliant. Basically, the whole film is narrated by the Buscape, who is an honest boy living in the slums of the City of God, where two gangs start a civil war.
It begins with the end and ends with the beginning. The contrast is shown starkly in most parts of the film. You will see violence vs love, slump vs modern, poverty vs wealth and much more. The movie cleverly combines them all into one believable story world. Everything makes up one another and is also the reason the other side exists. Surprisingly, Buscape is not even on the scene most of the time! This perspective of storytelling mixed with a beautiful violence world leads to an unexpectedly engaging film.
What really stands out, in my opinion, is how the Director chose to pace the story with different chapters. Most of the characters are shown in the beginning but take turn to be explored in the middle, and we are shown how all of them are intertwined. We get the feeling of progression in a way that doesn’t bore you down. There is always something or someone introduced that present an interesting perspective.